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Cleveland Clinic hopes plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can help others

You've probably heard that COVID-19 patients can be treated with plasma, but how does this work?

CLEVELAND — People who have already had and recovered from COVID-19 have what’s called convalescent plasma. That means it contains antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that can help fight the infection.

Right now, the Cleveland Clinic is hoping to get more recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma.

3News' Maureen Kyle talked to Dr. Simon Mucha with the Department of Critical Care Medicine and the Respiratory Institute at The Cleveland Clinic. He is leading the study on the use of convalescent plasma in some of their sickest patients, but says it’s hard to come by.

“We're currently using convalescent plasma for patients who are critically ill with life threatening COVID-19 in the ICU,” says Dr. Mucha. “It's been used throughout the country successfully, but we don't have prospective clinical trials that tell us -- or at least we don't have the trials yet -- that tell us exactly what patients benefit most.”

Physicians at the Cleveland Clinic say they believe that a transfusion of convalescent plasma may improve the chances of recovery of COVID-19 patients who are acutely ill, along with patients who are immune suppressed.

Donating plasma is a way for those who have recovered to help future patients and further research about the novel coronavirus. If you are thinking about donating, there are some qualifications that need to be met.

“We're looking for patients who have confirmed disease, have since recovered and are symptom free for at least 14 days," Dr. Mucha tells us.

The Cleveland Clinic has teamed up with the American Red Cross to help screen patients and schedule appointments for donations.

Click here for more information on how to donate plasma.


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