Clinical trial for plasma launches at Montefiore Medical Center, New York University
A clinical trial for plasma is launching at Montefiore Medical Center and New York University to see if it can help fight COVID-19.
Dr. Liise-Anne Pirofski, the chief of infectious diseases at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, says those who had COVID-19 potentially have a lot of convalescent plasma.
Plasma is the liquid part of the blood after the blood cells have been taken out. The liquid that remains is predominantly made up of antibodies, which our bodies make when we have an infection.
Convalescent are the antibodies that you find in a person who has recently recovered from an infectious disease.
Even though it's not approved by the FDA, convalescent plasma is being used in different compassionate use situations on COVID-19 patients; when it's an emergency or the patient is really sick but nothing else is working.
Pirofski is spearheading the clinical trial to find out if the plasma works with hard scientific data. She says there is evidence from the days of SARS and H1N1 that it could help a great deal.
The trial, in collaboration with NYU, will focus on people who've had symptoms for less than a week, have been in the hospital for three days or less and aren't on a ventilator.
She says her team needs donors, and the New York Blood Center is helping with that. Only two weeks into collecting convalescent plasma at its 19 centers in New York and New Jersey, New York Blood Center is distributing it to Montefiore and other New York City hospitals for testing and it's hoping to serve hospitals outside New York.
To donate, you must have a positive COVID-19 test with documentation, be 14 days without symptoms and meet their normal blood donation requirements.
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