Lisle, Ill.– AMITA Health is joining the national fight against COVID-19 by partnering with the Mayo Clinic and Versiti blood centers to collect and deliver convalescent plasma.
Convalescent plasma, plasma collected from those who have recovered from COVID-19, is under investigation for use as a treatment for the illness. The donor must have recovered from the illness, be healthy, and pass the usual screening tests for blood donation. The patient is transfused with the donor’s plasma, which contains antibodies that are believed to attack the virus, helping patients recover more quickly.
AMITA Health critical care physicians, pulmonologists and infectious disease specialists are now able to request convalescent plasma for their hospitalized, COVID-19 positive patients through the national Convalescent Plasma Expanded Access Program, coordinated by Mayo Clinic. Patients considered are those with or at risk for severe or life-threatening COVID-19.
In addition to Mayo Clinic and AMITA Health, organizations participating in the Convalescent Plasma Expanded Access Program searching to modify the course of disease include Johns Hopkins University, Washington University and Michigan State University.
If patients are accepted for this national treatment program, the plasma will be supplied by Versiti, which is also collecting the convalescent plasma from appropriate donors, and infused by AMITA Health clinical staff.
“This blood-related treatment, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an Emergency Investigational New Drug, could offer hope to the thousands of patients who continue to be diagnosed with COVID-19,” said Dr. Janis Atkinson, vice president, medical affairs for Alverno Laboratories at AMITA Health and medical director of the laboratory at AMITA Health Saint Francis Hospital Evanston. “Bringing this innovative research and treatment to the communities and patients we serve is the natural extension of our hard work against this pandemic.”
If you are a patient who has recovered and tested positive for COVID-19, please contact your physician to see if you are eligible to donate plasma. For more information on the Convalescent Plasma Expanded Access Program, please visit uscovidplasma.org.