Doctors want plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients

Published: Updated:
Photo: Matthew Allen Hecht / MGN

A cutting edge treatment program against the coronavirus begins Monday in Southwest Florida.

It’s all about plasma, a component found in everyone’s blood. If you had the coronavirus and recovered, Lee Health and NCH would like you to donate plasma.

It could help other COVID-19 patients recover sooner.

There’s no guarantee but doctors say it has worked to treat other viruses in the past.

“It was done for that strain of influenza H1N1; it showed that with the plasma, the mortality rate went down from like 54 percent to 20,” said Dr. Doug Brust of Lee Health.

If it works, the antibodies someone forms when they’re sick can be used to attack the virus in someone else.

If you had the virus and want to donate your plasma:

  • You must be fully recovered and symptom-free for at least 14 days;
  • If needed, they’ll do a nasal swab to make sure you test negative; and
  • Once that goes through, you’ll make an appointment at one of the donation sites.

A testament to the fact it works: WINK News talked with a man who donated plasm and turned his COVID-19 ordeal into a way to help others.

“Don’t be embarrassed by it, don’t be ashamed you have the ability to make the difference between life and death for a person or a family,” said James Crocker, who donated his plasma.

Just because you’re admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 doesn’t mean you’ll qualify to get plasma.

It will be based on things like availability and blood type. However, all the donations will stay local.

For more information about the program, visit the Lee Health website here.

To donate your plasma, visit the NCH blood donation website here.

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