Bon Secours Health System recently announced it has joined the Food and Drug Administration’s national Expanded Access Program to use convalescent plasma, which is plasma collected from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, as a treatment for the virus.
Convalescent plasma is administered to COVID-19 patients who are at high risk of progression to a severe or life-threatening stage of the disease. This type of treatment has previously been used to treat polio, measles, hepatitis B, influenza, Ebola and other pathogens.
“In our ongoing effort to care for our communities, Bon Secours is facilitating access to investigational convalescent plasma through participation in the National Expanded Access Treatment Protocol,” said Bon Secours St. Francis Health System’s chief clinical officer, Dr. Marcus Blackstone. “We have established a network of participating blood suppliers that will work at the local level to supply hospitals with convalescent plasma. The key to the success of this program is the donor population.”
People who have had COVID-19 and are symptom free for 28 days or longer are eligible to donate blood through The Blood Connection. Before donated blood can be used, it is tested for safety. It also goes through a process to separate the blood cells so that only the plasma with the antibodies are left behind. One plasma donation can potentially help up to four COVID-19 patients.
Led by the Mayo Clinic, this program has expanded access to registered health care providers nationwide. This treatment will be available at both Greenville St. Francis hospitals.
For more information or to find a list of local participating blood centers, visit bonsecours.com or call 888-700-9011.