Doctors using plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients to try and help those who are still sick

Local blood bank LifeSouth Community Blood Center is working with survivors in a race for a possible cure.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There is no cure for COVID-19, but the answer to stopping it could be in someone’s body if they already fought off the new coronavirus.

As doctors and nurses are working to save lives, other scientists are working to find a cure.

As of April 6, more than one million people around the world have tested positive for COVID-19 but over 276,000 people have survived.

The Food Drug and Administration believes a cure or vaccine could be created with the help of survivors’ blood. President Donald Trump has mentioned the initiative often in the last week.

Local blood bank LifeSouth Community Blood Center is working with COVID-19 survivors.

“The idea is that once you have recovered if we can collect that plasma from you then we can put that into someone that is very ill and it will give them a boost,” said Dr. Chris Lough with Life South.

According to a Journal of the American Medical Association report, using plasma is not a new idea.

It was used for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), pandemic 2009 influenza A (H1N1), avian influenza A (H5N1), Ebola, and other viral infections.

The study also showed people were more likely to live after getting blood plasma from survivors.

LifeSouth is partnering with medical centers in Florida, Georgia and Alabama to collect plasma from COVID-19 patients.

Collected donations will be sent to medical centers to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. The plasma contains antibodies that may help fight the virus. That means maybe, one of these survivors could have the cure in their blood.

“The FDA has essentially cleared it to say we are not certain this works but we have enough evidence that we really want to try it and get it out there and see what we can do,” Lough said. “They have high hopes that it’s going to work pretty well.”

This research could take several months before they know if it works but the medical world is optimistic.

Potential donors should email medicaloffice@lifesouth.org or call 888-795-2707.

Each person that donates could provide two to three patients with plasma.

The blood bank is also accepting standard blood donations too.

In order to donate you must: Have a positive COVID-19 test, be at least 14 days symptom-free then a negative test or 28 days symptom-free.

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