VCU Medical Center to Administer Plasma Treatment

Looking for Patients Who Have Recovered to Donate

April 21, 2020 - 2:54 pm

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(RICHMOND, Va.) -- VCU Medical Center has been approved under Mayo Clinic's Expanded Access Program to administer plasma to sick patients for treatment of COVID-19.

For patients who have had the virus and have recovered, their blood likely contains immune components called antibodies that target the virus. That's why they are asking those patients to donate plasma that can be used for people fighting it right now.

The hospital hopes that the plasma can be administered to a patient this week. 

The use of plasma is not a new treatment. It was used during the 1918 flu pandemic, also to treat measles in the 1930s and in more recent cases of Ebola, SARS and H1N1. 

Donating plasma is similar to donating blood. To qualify, you must have recovered, tested negative for the virus and are otherwise healthy.

Those who wish to donate plasma are asked to join a confidential registry. That alone doesn't bind you into donating. You can be request to be removed anytime.