Haley VA Takes Part in Nationwide Study of Possible Treatment for COVID-19
The program, which uses blood plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19, is in is a collaboration with OneBlood blood donation centers and the Mayo Clinic.
TAMPA – The James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and Clinics is taking part in a nationwide study to provide plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 coronavirus patients for the treatment of patients suffering from the disease.
The plasma from recovered patients contains antibodies, or proteins in the blood, that can attack the virus and possibly lessen its severity.
The program is a collaboration with OneBlood blood donation centers and the Mayo Clinic, which is coordinating the study called the U.S. Expanded Access Program for Convalescent Plasma for the Treatment of Patients with COVID-19. Although the procedure has been used successfully in other epidemic diseases, it is considered experimental, and collecting information on whether theprocedure helps COVID-19 is an integral part of the study.
Each blood donation can benefit two to three patients.
“We are excited to participate in this promising study and hopeful that convalescent plasma will heal our COVID-19 patients. Every life is precious to us and we will do everything we can to get our patients back in good health,” said Joe Battle, James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital director. “This study also presents a unique opportunity for recovered COVID-19 patients to give back to our nation’s heroes in a vital way. You could save a life.”
Recovered COVID-19 patients, especially those with blood type AB, are eligible to donate if they meet the criteria below, as well as the standard criteria for voluntary blood donation:
- Prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by an FDA approved laboratory test with Hospital Letter OR Antibody Test Results;
- Complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days before donating and a documented negative FDA approved COVID-19 test; or
- Complete resolution of symptoms at least 28 days before donating.
Potential donors can learn more about the requirements, pre-registration, and donation process at OneBlood. If approved, OneBlood will contact the donor to schedule a collection time and location. OneBlood can be contacted at 1-888-9-DONATE (936-6283) or oneblood.org.
Dr. Sandra Gompf, chief of the Infectious Disease Section, will work with VA physicians who identify COVID-19 patients who might benefit from the use of convalescent plasma. The physicians will offer the patient the option of receiving a donation and obtain their consent per FDA requirements.
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