May 6, 2020
Cheyenne, WY – Vitalant has launched a program to treat COVID-19 patients with blood plasma donated by people who have recovered from the disease. Known as “convalescent plasma,” this blood component contains antibodies that may give patients an extra boost to fight their illness. Locally and in coordination with Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, Vitalant is working to identify willing and qualified donors.
“As the world looks for ways to fight this deadly virus, we’re proud to be partnering with Vitalant in an effort to successfully treat COVID-19 patients,” said CRMC President and CEO Tim Thornell. “We’ll continue to do what’s necessary to make sure COVID-19 patients receive the most up-to-date and evidence-based care in this relentless battle.”
Currently, there are no vaccines or proven treatments for COVID-19. Although trials for a vaccine are underway, it is expected to be many months before one is approved. The Food and Drug Administration has identified and approved convalescent plasma treatment as an “emergency investigational new drug.” It is currently the only antibody treatment available to COVID-19 patients and, as such, is a promising new tool.
This form of investigational treatment may give the body more ability to fight against COVID-19 by using antibodies that are active against the disease. Vitalant is gearing up to help patients fight this novel infectious disease with the help of willing recovered COVID-19 patients from the communities that it serves.
“By donating convalescent plasma, a donor potentially may save the lives of several COVID-19 patients”, states Dr. Liz Rosenbaum, Medical Director for Vitalant, South.
Below are eligibility criteria for convalescent plasma donors:
- Prior diagnosis of COVID-19, documented by a laboratory test
- Complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days
- Meet all other current FDA donor eligibility requirements to donate plasma
Additional tests or other criteria may also be required. In some instances, those who have recovered from COVID-19 may be able to donate, even if they did not have an initial laboratory test. Those who meet that criteria and want to donate plasma are encouraged to apply through the Vitalant websiteVitalant.org/covidfree. More information is also available by calling 866-CV-PLSMA (866-287-5762).
“As this life-transforming program continues to expand, we’re putting out a call to those who have recovered from COVID-19 to help patients in need,” said Cliff Numark, Vitalant’s Chief of Marketing. “We encourage those who are eligible to go through the process to make a real difference.”
Vitalant will only accept donors who meet all FDA-required donor eligibility criteria and are symptom-free for at least 14 days. Potential donors can only donate if they have applied and have been accepted to the program. Donors cannot walk in for this procedure; they must first fill out the form at Vitalant.org/covidfree to begin the application process. Potential donors will then be contacted by Vitalant.
Vitalant (“Vye-TAL-ent”) is a national community blood service provider, supplying comprehensive transfusion medicine services for nearly 1,000 hospitals and health care partners for patients in need across 40 states. Vitalant inspires local communities to serve the needs of others and transform lives through the selfless act of donating blood. Every day, almost 5,000 blood donations are needed to meet the needs of people throughout the country, and Vitalant’s 800,000 donors supply 1.8 million donations a year. In addition to blood products, Vitalant offers customers transfusion services, medical consulting, quality guidance, ongoing education, research and more. For more information and to schedule a donation, visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825). Join the conversation about impacting the lives of others on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.