RAPID CITY, S.D. (April 17, 2020) — Monument Health is participating with Mayo Clinic and other health care systems in a research project to determine if blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients could be an effective treatment for hospital patients with severe infections.
Plasma is the liquid part of the blood that carries cells and proteins throughout the body. In patients who have had COVID-19, the plasma also contains antibodies that fight the virus. Until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, this convalescent plasma could improve recovery for hospital patients with severe COVID-19 infections.
“With COVID-19’s fast spread around the world, physicians and scientists are launching important research projects to fight this virus. We at Monument Health are proud to be playing a role in this effort,” said Brad Archer, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Monument Health.
Monument Health is currently recruiting donors whose plasma will be used in the research. Monument Health is also working with Vitalant, operator of the Black Hills blood donation center, to draw the blood and separate the blood cells from the plasma. The plasma, which can be frozen and stored for up to a year, could be given to severely ill, locally hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
According to Mayo Clinic, the immediate goal of this research is to determine if convalescent plasma can improve the chance of recovery for people with the most severe disease.
Anyone interested in donating plasma should reach out to their Monument Health primary care provider for details. Requirements for donation are a previous COVID-19 infection and have to be symptom free for a minimum of 28 days.
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