Recovered COVID-19 patients may have immune-boosting antibodies in their plasma

Lafayette General Health is working with Vitalant, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit community blood service providers, to collect convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19. The effort is part of a program to treat patients infected with the virus.

This FDA-approved “emergency investigational new drug” is a special blood product containing antibodies that may give patients an extra boost to fight the virus.

Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that is collected from patients who have recovered from COVID-19. These patients develop proteins or antibodies in the blood against the virus. Convalescent plasma is being investigated for the treatment of COVID-19, and there is some information that suggests it might help some patients recover.

“Patients who have fully recovered from COVID-19 may be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating their plasma. Because they fought the infection and beat it, their plasma now contains COVID-19 antibodies,” says Dr. Amanda Logue, Lafayette General Health’s chief medical officer. “These antibodies provided one way for the recovered patient’s immune system to fight the virus when they were sick, so their plasma may be able to help others fight off the disease.”

To be eligible to donate convalescent plasma, the patient must have a prior COVID-19 diagnosis documented by a laboratory test and meet other eligibility requirements. Eligibility includes being symptom-free for 28 days or more. If a patient has been symptom-free for 14-27 days, a negative COVID-19 test is required.

Those interested in donating their convalescent plasma must call 337-703-3398 or email [email protected]. LGH has a team that will guide you through the necessary documentation and send your paperwork to Vitalant. Vitalant will then reach out to you to make an appointment.