Froedtert: Plasma treatment looks hopeful for critically ill COVID-19 patients

Posted at 11:44 AM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 12:44:19-04

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin say a new plasma treatment is offering hope to critically ill COVID-19 patients.

Froedtert & MCW is the first health care system in southeastern Wisconsin to administer the convalescent plasma therapy to COVID-19 patients. The first patient was treated on April 8, and there are now a total of four patients who are undergoing treatment.

The treatment involves using the plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19. Antibodies are extracted from the plasma of people who have recovered from the virus and are then infused into the patients who are currently battling in order to help their immune systems fight the coronavirus.

"Based upon work with these active cases, we have great hope for this research because it offers a new treatment for the most severely affected patients, those for whom all other options are not working," said, Mary Beth Graham, MD, Associate Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at MCW, Medical Director of Infection Prevention & Control at Froedtert Hospital, and co-principal investigator on the study

One donation of plasma allows multiple patients to be treated, as well as aids patients who are undergoing treatment as some of them may need more than one plasma transfusion.

Froedtert & MCW has seen success with convalescent plasma treatments in the past for battling viruses such as Ebola and H1N1.

Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and would like to participate in the study can call 1-866-702-HOPE or go online. FDA guidelines require potential donors to have had a laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19, be symptom free for at least 14 days prior to donating and be tested again and receive a negative diagnosis.

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