Eight COVID-19 patients have been transfused with convalescent plasma therapy in the first two weeks of Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center participating in the experimental treatment program.
As part of the program, patients receive an infusion of plasma from people who have recovered from the virus that causes COVID-19. Antibodies in the plasma from a recovered person may help patients being treated for the virus recover.
Now that more people have recovered from the virus, there is the potential for a larger supply of convalescent plasma as more people are eligible to donate, officials said.
According to Penn State Health St. Joseph Blood Bank Manager Cheryl Gipe, the time between ordering and receiving the plasma has been steadily improving and that hopefully indicates the supply is becoming more readily available.
Eligible donors must have a verified prior diagnosis of COVID-19, be in good health, at least 17 years of age and weigh at least 110 pounds.
Patients at both Penn State Health hospitals — St. Joseph and Hershey — are being screened for eligibility for the experimental treatment, which is available through an expanded access program led by the Mayo Clinic and coordinated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.