Friday, 24 April 2020 15:08

McLeod Health using blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to save lives

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McLeod Health using blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to save lives Ahmed Ardity - Pixabay

CHERAW, S.C. — McLeod Health physicians and clinical staff are testing the effectiveness and outcomes of convalescent blood plasma to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. The Infectious Diseases and Critical Care teams at McLeod Health are participating in this trial led and developed by the United States government and Mayo Clinic.

This treatment, developed from the blood plasma of fully recovered COVID-19 patients, is given to hospitalized patients with severe cases of COVID-19. Because the plasma is enriched with antibodies (proteins found in the blood that fight against viruses) it supports in the fight against COVID-19. The process of using plasma for fighting the virus is considered low risk. The goal of this treatment is to determine if blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can improve the chance of recovery in people with severe cases of the virus.

“Convalescent plasma has been used in the prevention and treatment of many infectious diseases for more than a century. Most recently, it has been used during the 2009 H1 N1 influenza pandemic with great success”, said Dr. Ramesh Bharadwaj, McLeod Health medical director of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. “Several small clinical trials have indicated that a single dose of 200 milliliter of convalescent plasma shows significant benefit in some patients with COVID-19 infection.”

“It is vitally important for us to continue being on the front line to support future mitigation of COVID-19”, said Dr. Tarek Bishara, medical director of Laboratory Services and Pathologist at McLeod Regional Medical Center. “It is a privilege to work with teams that are advancing care with this type of laboratory service and path to excellent outcomes.”

Recovered COVID-19 area residents are encouraged to donate blood plasma. Please note that in order to participate, you will need to be fully recovered from the virus and asymptomatic (symptom-free) for at least 28 days.

How to Donate:

If you have recovered from COVID-19 and wish to donate, please contact The Blood Connection to make an appointment (864)-751-1168. The Blood Connection is the provider of blood products to McLeod Health.

Positive test documentation can include the following:

• A copy of the donor lab results showing a positive test for COVID-19 which shows the date of the positive test.

• A document from a healthcare provider stating that the donor had a positive test for COVID-19 and the date of the positive test. This document must be on letterhead or the prescription pad of the healthcare provider and must be signed and dated by the healthcare provider.

 For more information about COVID-19, visit