Medical City Healthcare is participating in a national study to determine if plasma from convalescent, or recovered, COVID-19 patients may benefit individuals currently hospitalized with severe or life-threatening cases of the virus.
As part of the effort, Medical City Healthcare is encouraging eligible volunteers from North Texas to donate plasma to help current patients in need.
“We are proud to take part in this important study. We are asking for the help of our community to spread awareness about plasma donation for patients facing COVID-19 not only here in North Texas, but also around the world,” said Medical City Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Miguel Benet, MD.
To date, there is no proven therapy for individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, but there is a long history of successful viral infection treatment using convalescent plasma, according to a MCH news release. After a person infected with a virus such as COVID-19 recovers, their blood contains antibodies produced by their immune system to help fight off the virus. Infusing this plasma into other severely ill COVID-19 patients may help their immune system more effectively fight the virus. Recent examples of this approach have occurred during outbreaks of coronaviruses including SARS-1 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), though additional clinical data and more plasma donations are required to determine efficacy in treating COVID-19.
The success of the study hinges on the continued collection of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. People who tested positive for COVID-19 and have since tested negative can help by donating plasma through the American Red Cross or another local donation center. To find out more about the donation process, eligibility and locations to donate in North Texas, call the dedicated COVID-19 Plasma Phone Line at 833-582-1971 or visit HCA Healthcare’s plasma donation website.
Medical City Healthcare facilities are among 172 hospitals participating from the HCA Healthcare network. HCA Healthcare, along with its Sarah Cannon Research Institute, is leveraging its clinical research capabilities and national hospital network to quickly expand collection and testing for this study, which is being led by the Mayo Clinic and supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The convalescent plasma study is one of several research initiatives involving COVID-19 in which HCA Healthcare and Sarah Cannon are participating.