Indiana University Health is seeking patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate blood plasma to aid critically-ill patients battling the disease.
People who have recovered from COVID-19 may antibodies in their blood that are able to fight and control the virus. IU Health says these antibodies can be collected and then transfused to patients who are struggling with the disease. This process is called convalescent plasma infusion.
“At this point there are no vaccinations or proven medications to treat COVID-19,” says Dr. Nicolas Barros, transplant infectious diseases specialist at IU Health and assistant professor of clinical medicine at IU School of Medicine. “The use of convalescent plasma is an investigational new treatment that could prove successful in the management of the disease.”
The Food and Drug Administration has approved convalescent plasma as an investigational new drug, but the idea of a treatment derived from recovering patients dates as far back as the 1890s.
IU Health says donors will be required to prove they had a COVID-19 diagnosis with a positive, documented laboratory test. Donors must also be symptom-free for 28 days. IU Health is working with blood centers to identify eligible plasma donors and facilitate the donations.
How to become a COVID-19 recovered plasma donor
Those who have recovered from COVID-19 and are willing to donate plasma should complete this online screening form. If they qualify, they will be contacted by an IU Health nurse who will direct them to a blood center to make their donation.