Hoxworth Blood Center, University of Cincinnati, is working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect and distribute convalescent plasma from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.
"Hoxworth Blood Center is expanding their lifesaving mission to include convalescent plasma for patients in critical need. This promising investigational product must get to patients without delay," said Dr. David Oh, Chief Medical Officer, Hoxworth Blood Center. “As the only steward of the local blood supply, Hoxworth will support all hospitals in the region seeking this therapy.”
While COVID-19 currently has no proven treatment, it is possible that convalescent plasma, a component of blood from patients that have recovered from COVID-19, may provide antibodies to fight the virus. Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 may be eligible to donate 28 days after complete resolution of their symptoms.
“This type of therapy is more than 100 years old and was used during the 1918 flu pandemic, a time when antiviral drugs and most vaccines did not exist,” explains Dr. Oh. “This approach was used for polio, measles and mumps.”
The therapy is based on a medical concept called passive immunity. People who recover from an infection develop antibodies that circulate in the blood and can neutralize the pathogen. Through transfusion it is the hope that these antibodies will improve the disease fighting response to the virus.
Patients eligible to receive convalescent plasma must have a severe or immediately life-threatening infection with laboratory confirmed COVID-19. The treatment must be prescribed by a physician.
Under FDA policy, convalescent plasma must only be collected from recovered individuals if they are eligible to donate plasma, required testing must be performed, and the donation must be found suitable.
Medical professionals seeking additional information for their patients and/or hospital system can contact Hoxworth Blood Center via email at HoxCovid19@uc.edu.
Additional information about convalescent plasma can be found on the Hoxworth website. To be eligible for plasma donation, donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), feeling generally well and healthy, and have no active cold or flu symptoms. Individuals must have had a confirmed cased of COVID-19 and be symptom free for at least 28 days. To schedule a donation, call (513) 451-0910 or visit www.hoxworth.org. Appointments are required at this time in order to maintain social distancing protocol.