Mercy seeks donations of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat others

JoAnne Levy is vice president of Mercy Research.

Ellen Futterman, Editor

Mercy Hospital and Mercy Research are participating in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s programs allowing use of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat hospitalized ones.

“If someone tested positive for COVID-19 and has been symptom-free for more than 28 days, they can be considered as a donor of convalescent plasma,” explained JoAnne Levy, Mercy Research vice president and a member of Temple Israel. Levy explains that thankfully, the need for this plasma is not as great as it was even just a month ago because fewer patients are currently hospitalized in the St. Louis area with the virus.

“Right now, we are encouraging people who come forward to donate blood and platelets,” she said. “We are maintaining a certain level of inventory of convalescent plasma should there be a second wave of the virus or another spike or change in the need.”

According to the FDA, convalescent plasma that contains antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, might be effective in fighting the virus.

“Whether it works and how it works is what is being researched by the FDA and others,” added Levy. “Once you’ve donated plasma, you can donate again after a period of time. We appreciate the many people who are willing to donate multiple times.”

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Those interested in learning more can go to [email protected]