As a registered participating site in Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Study, it is vital that Lee Health’s supply remains stocked to continue to make progress in the fight against the coronavirus.
Convalescent plasma refers to blood plasma collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19 or had an asymptomatic infection. That plasma is then used to treat others with advanced illness as part of the clinical trial. The blood donor must have had a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and be otherwise eligible to donate blood. After donation, the blood is processed in the lab to obtain the plasma component. The patient is transfused with the donor’s convalescent plasma, which contains antibodies that may attack the virus and may help the patient recover more rapidly.
“Because there is no known safe and effective treatment for COVID-19, we want to be able to offer our patients the opportunity to enroll in a convalescent plasma clinical trial to treat their COVID-19” said Doug Brust, M.D., an infectious diseases physician with Lee Physician Group and the principal investigator of the trial at Lee Health. “For that to happen, we urgently need community members who had a positive test and have either recovered or had asymptomatic infections to contact us to donate blood”
Here’s how the donation program works at Lee Health:
- Individuals who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 whose symptoms have resolved OR had asymptomatic infection can volunteer to donate blood.
- Donors are screened by clinical personnel with questions and tests to make sure they are appropriate to donate blood that will be processed to make COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
- To volunteer, call 239-343-2332 or email COVID.plasma@LeeHealth.org (E-mail preferred)
- Documented routine blood donation consent is required; forms provided by Lee Health.
- If potential donors are appropriate, an appointment for blood donation is scheduled at a Lee Health donation site.
All donations collected by Lee Health stay in our community and are used exclusively for Lee Health patients.