Desert Regional Medical Center is one of the first hospitals to receive plasma donations to treat Covid-19 positive patients. Although it is still too early to tell, doctors say treatments are looking positive.
The donation is convalescent plasma, which is plasma taken from someone who has fully recovered from Covid-19.
“Your immune system from your body actually starts producing antibodies which will then fight off the infection so that you can heal from that infection,” said Dr. Xolani Mdluli, Infectious Disease Physician.
Convalescent plasma has been studied in other outbreaks, including the Sars and H1N1 pandemic. it has also been used to treat other viruses like Rabies and Hepatitis B.
These donations are part of the Mayo Clinical Trial, which is backed by the FDA.
“If we took plasma from someone who is actually recovered from the disease and give somebody who is actually in the hospital sick with the disease will it to the same job, meaning will it neutralize the virus quickly and kill the virus quickly while your waiting for your own immune system to kick in,” explained Dr. Mdluli.
Dr. Mdluli says this type of treatment has been used for a long time and so far it looks promising for the patients who have received the plasma.
“We did transfuse that plasma to two of our patients on Monday and we are very hopeful that it will help those patients, usually you start seeing results within three days, and even though it’s still early to tell, but I can tell you that we’ve already seen some improvement in those patients,” added Dr. Mdluli.
People interested in donating their plasma in this trial must have fully recovered from Covid-19.
“So a recovery comes in two stages, a recovery per the FDA, means that you haven’t had any symptoms for 14 days and you also repeated a test after the symptoms have resolved and it was negative, or you have had no symptoms for 28 days after recovery. you don’t need to have had the repeat test for that,” said Dr. Mdluli.
People who are able to donate blood plasma can do so every seven days but remember in this case you do have to be considered fully recovered from coronavirus.