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Ascension Saint Thomas collecting plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients to treat current patients

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Posted at 9:44 AM, Apr 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-18 10:44:38-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Ascension Saint Thomas is now collecting convalescent plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19 as part of a treatment trial they hope can combat the coronavirus.

The treatment is through a partnership with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Mayo Clinic and the Red Cross. Donors who meet certain criteria are needed.

"People who successfully recover from COVID-19 likely now have antibodies to the virus that are still in their plasma," said Peter Jelsma, blood bank medical director at Ascension Saint Thomas. "In this experimental treatment, doctors transfuse this donated plasma with the antibodies...into a person still fighting the virus."

To meet the criteria established by the FDA for COVID-19 plasma donors, one must have had a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 by an FDA-approved lab, as well as a complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days before the donation with a documented, FDA-approved negative test. Patients without a documented negative test must have a complete resolution of symptoms for at least 28 days before their donation.

Those interested in donating plasma can call the Ascension Saint Thomas plasma donor hotline at (615) 284-4108.