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Recovered from COVID-19? Your plasma might be the key to helping others

Coronavirus Updates

Utah's first plasma transfusion of a COVID-19 patient at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray took place Tuesday

If you are one of the 800 people that have recovered from COVID-19 in our state, your plasma could be essential to helping others with the virus.

In the past, people have recovered from various viruses using the plasma from others that have had the same virus and recovered. Researchers are working on this same treatment option for COVID-19.

According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, initial data available from studies using COVID-19 convalescent plasma for the treatment of individuals with severe or life-threatening disease indicate that a single dose of 200 mL showed benefit for some patients, leading to improvement.

Related: After recovering from COVID-19, Tooele couple donates their plasma with super antibodies to medical research

The FDA has launched a program to explore the benefits and a team with Intermountain Healthcare is participating.

“This is one of multiple options that we are making available to patients, these are investigative therapies, for which we don’t have clear cut evidence for benefit but they are therapies that have been described as having promise in the treatment of COVID-19,” said Dr. Brandon Webb the Chair of Intermountain Healthcare COVID-19 Therapeutics Team.

A team from Intermountain Healthcare preformed the first transfusion in Murray on April 17, to a patient in critical condition. The team is currently monitoring that person who got the transfusion.

“When a patient is infected with a virus the body mounts an immune response and makes antibodies to that virus, those antibodies are not present in the population when there’s a new disease like COVID-19, so most people don’t have antibodies that gives them protection against this virus,” said Webb.

Intermountain working with the FDA, Mayo Clinic and American Red Cross to provide this option for patients. Health care officials say each donor can give up to four units of plasma, they are also asking for a diverse pool of donors, from different blood types to different backgrounds.

You also have to have lab evidence stating you’ve had the virus and meet the standard blood donor criteria. For more information go to redcrossblood.org.

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