Convalescent plasma is obtained from people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have been free of symptoms for 28 days. This program may allow access to that plasma for hospitalized patients infected with the novel coronavirus who have severe or life-threatening COVID-19, or who may be at high risk for progression to severe or life-threatening disease. Once they have registered and given informed consent, patients may receive one unit of convalescent plasma obtained from an individual who has recovered from a proven case of infection with the coronavirus.
The research is just one prime example of the university’s commitment to urban impact, one of the pillars of UC’s strategic direction, Next Lives Here.
UC and UC Health are among hundreds of universities and academic health systems across the nation to register with the research protocol from the Mayo Clinic, an American not-for-profit academic medical center based in Rochester, Minnesota. Working collaboratively with academic, government and industry partners, the Mayo Clinic is serving as the lead institution for the national program, called “Expanded Access to Convalescent Plasma for the Treatment of Patients with COVID-19,” to collect and provide convalescent plasma to patients in need across the country. According to the Mayo Clinic, people who recover from COVID-19 do so, at least in part, because their blood contains antibodies which are capable of fighting the virus that causes the illness. Participating in a national, multicenter protocol will allow for analysis of many participants who receive plasma to help determine if this treatment is safe and effective, according to UC’s Huaman.
He adds that the use of convalescent therapy dates back to the 1890s. Convalescent plasma has been used to prevent and/or treat a wide range of diseases including measles, SARS, Ebola, H1N1 flu and polio. Patients with COVID-19 may improve faster if they receive plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19 because it may have the ability to fight the virus that causes it.