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New therapy shows how current COVID-19 patients could be cured by recovered patients

Updated: Apr. 8, 2020 at 6:24 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Local recovered COVID-19 patients could have the cure to treating severe symptoms seen in current patients.

Convalescent plasma is a new therapy that takes the antibodies from the blood of a recovered patient and fuses the plasma into a sick patient.

Coffee Memorial Blood Center in Amarillo is ready to collect their first plasma donations in hopes of relieving sick patients in the area.

“We are part of a national effort to try and get a new therapy to folks who are severely or critically ill with COVID,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO at Coffee Memorial Blood Center. “It’s plasmic you take from folks who are recovered. Early reports are that it’s fairly effective. The study will prove that if the FDA likes the results.”

Recent reports have shown this therapy to relieve patients of their symptoms with 24 hours.

“We’re enabling this research, and we’re getting kind of cutting edge care to patients that are very sick with the virus,” said Dr. Armitage.

Plasma can be collected from patients who have tested negative for the virus for 14 to 28 days or longer.

“Well we’re starting to collect already,” said Dr. Armitage. “Tomorrow will be our first collection for our organization. As soon as we can qualify them as donors, we want to ask for their help and ask them to use some of the strength that they have in fighting off the virus to boost somebody else over the hump to recovery.”

While this treatment is said to be effective, donors must be referred and screened on the phone by a physician before donating.

Once the physician approves the recovered patient to donate plasma, Coffee Memorial Blood Center will take their plasma and give it to local doctors to begin treatment.

All plasma donations for the new therapy will take place before and after normal business hours at the Coffee Memorial Blood Center for safety measures.

If you are interested in donating plasma to help current COVID-19 patients in need, you can sign up here.

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