For Immediate Release June 15, 2020

Southern Illinois Healthcare

A single plasma donation from a recovered COVID-19 patient could help up to four patients fight the virus. SIH is now part of a Mayo Clinic study investigating convalescent plasma as a treatment option. The large-scale analysis features collaboration among more than 2,200 hospitals and healthcare entities across the country.

People who have recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies, or proteins used to ward off infection, in their blood. Researchers hope convalescent plasma - the liquid portion of the blood collected from recovered patients - will help severely ill patients. Early results indicate it could also help moderately ill patients from worsening and experiencing additional complications.

Sarah Altamimi, MD, infectious disease specialist, will identify patients within SIH hospitals who meet the criteria. The Red Cross will then type-match each patient and deliver the donated plasma for use. Patients receiving convalescent plasma will be monitored for adverse effects up to 30 days after the initial infusion.

Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and wish to donate their plasma must register through the Red Cross. Donors themselves must be at least 17 years old and symptom-free 14 days or more prior to donating. Potential plasma donors must first fill out a COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donor Eligibility Form. A Red Cross representative will follow up with prospective candidates for special scheduling.