Lee Health in Immediate Need of Convalescent Plasma Donors to Help Refill Supply
Lee Health a Registered site in Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Study
FORT MYERS, Fla. (June 10, 2020) — Lee Health is in urgent need of convalescent plasma donations to help refill supply levels. As a registered participating site in Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Study, it is vital that Lee Health’s supply remains stocked to continue to make progress in the fight against the coronavirus.
Convalescent plasma refers to blood plasma collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19. That plasma is then used to treat others with advanced illness as part of the clinical trial. The blood donor must have had a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), be symptom free for at least 14 days, and be otherwise eligible to donate blood. The procedure is the same as any routine blood donation. After donation, the blood is processed in the lab to obtain the plasma component. The patient is transfused with the donor’s convalescent plasma, which contains antibodies that may attack the virus and may help the patient recover more rapidly.
“Preliminary results from COVID-19 patients treated with convalescent plasma at Mount Sinai in NYC, the epicenter of COVID-19 in the USA, indicate that the therapy improves clinical outcomes, including mortality,” said Doug Brust, M.D., an infectious diseases physician with Lee Physician Group and the principal investigator of the trial at Lee Health. “Because there is no known safe and effective treatment for COVID-19, we want to be able to offer our patients the opportunity to enroll in a convalescent plasma clinical trial to treat their COVID-19. For that to happen, we need community members who have recovered from COVID-19 to contact us to donate blood.”
Here’s how the donation program works at Lee Health:
· Individuals who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 whose symptoms have resolved for at least 14 days can volunteer to donate blood.
· Donors are screened by clinical personnel with questions and tests to make sure they are appropriate to donate blood that will be processed to make COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
· To volunteer, call 239-343-2332 or email(E-mail preferred)
· Documented routine blood donation consent is required; forms provided by Lee Health.
· If potential donors are appropriate, an appointment for blood donation is scheduled at a Lee Health donation site.
All donations collected by Lee Health stay in our community and are used exclusively for Lee Health patients.
About Lee Health
Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Learn more at www.LeeHealth.org.