In partnership with the Blood Bank of Delmarva, Beebe Healthcare is the first hospital in Delaware to offer convalescent plasma therapy as a treatment for acutely sick COVID-19 patients.
Currently, there are no drugs or other therapeutics approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent or treat COVID-19. However, the FDA recently announced guidance and recommendations for convalescent plasma treatment. It is possible that plasma taken from those who have recovered from COVID-19 (known as convalescent plasma), which has antibodies against the virus, could help, according to initial studies.
“This type of therapy has been around for many years. By providing antibodies, proteins that attack infection, from recovered patients’ plasma, this could give our severely sick patients a better chance to fight the COVID-19 disease,” said Dr. Bill Chasanov, Beebe’s COVID-19 Response medical director and infectious disease physician. “Beebe is proud to offer this type of treatment with the hopes of helping as many people affected by COVID-19 as possible. We have been following guidance throughout this pandemic from the CDC, WHO, FDA, and other health organization to bring the most advanced treatment options to our community in their time of need.”
The FDA guidelines allow only eligible blood donors who have recovered from COVID-19 (and have lab-confirmed test) and have been asymptomatic for at least 14 days to donate their plasma. The Blood Bank of Delmarva is asking donors to be willing to donate up to three times.
“Beebe Healthcare is driven to be an innovative healthcare leader supporting our community here in Delaware. I am grateful for the great work being done by Dr. Bill Chasanov and the rest of the Beebe team as we battle this pandemic together,” said Dr. David Tam, president & CEO of Beebe Healthcare.
Beebe is relying on the Blood Bank of Delmarva to provide the limited plasma it has available. If interested to see if someone is eligible for a donation, visit http://delmarvablood.org/cpdonor, or call 1-888-8BLOOD-8.
There are important requirements to meet the criteria of donating plasma:
• Lab-confirmed positive test for COVID-19 (documentation of positive test is required)
• Symptoms have been gone for at least 14 days
• Willing to donate plasma (donate up to three times).
All information provided will be kept confidential and will only be used to qualify someone as a donor, according to the Blood Bank.
“We’re proud to partner with leading medical institutions from Delmarva and beyond in developing this potential treatment,” said Christopher D. Hillyer, MD, president and CEO of New York Blood Center. “We’re asking eligible individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 to register to donate so that we can build a robust supply of convalescent plasma to treat as many patients as possible. Donors must have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for a minimum of 14 days.”
For more information about Beebe Healthcare, go to www.beebehealthcare.org. To find out how Beebe Healthcare is Creating the Next Generation of Care for the community, go to www.nextgenerationofcare.org.