As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country and the world, Versiti, Inc., a national leader in blood health innovation, has begun collecting plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to help treat others severely affected with the virus. This blood related treatment could offer hope to hundreds of patients who continue to be diagnosed.
Versiti blood centers is among the first in the U.S. to begin the collection of convalescent plasma. They are working with their partner hospitals to identify patients who have successfully recovered from COVID-19.
“The potential donors must first be proven to have had a COVID-19 diagnosis through a positive lab test result, and must then have a negative test result 14 days after recovering from symptoms,” said Versiti Senior Medical Director Dan A. Waxman, M.D. “It’s a very collaborative effort with our hospital partners who will be working to identify and verify the donors.”
The donated plasma is provided directly to the patients of hospitals with whom Versiti is partnering. The first healthcare system in the Southeastern Wisconsin to use this therapy on a COVID-19 patient, Froedtert & MCW infused its first patient with plasma donated from individuals who have recovered from the virus on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. While MCW is taking the lead on researching the effectiveness of this novel treatment and Froedtert Hospital is managing and administering the care of the patients, Versiti is actively recruiting donors of plasma.
The plasma treatment transfers the antibodies of a recovered patient, into critically ill patients who are currently receiving care.
The plasma donations, which take 30-40 minutes, are collected at Versiti donor centers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Though blood group AB is the universal plasma donor, any blood type donor who has recovered from the virus is eligible to donate as part of the program.