Medical City Healthcare is participating in a national study to determine if plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients may benefit currently hospitalized patients with severe or life-threatening cases of the virus.
As part of the effort, Medical City is encouraging eligible volunteers across North Texas to donate plasma to help current patients in need. People who tested positive for COVID-19 and have since tested negative can help by donating plasma through the American Red Cross or another local donation center. Medical City officials say the success of the study hinges on the continued collection of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.
“We are proud to take part in this important study. We are asking for the help of our community to spread awareness about plasma donation for patients facing COVID-19 not only here in North Texas, but also around the world,” says Medical City Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Dr. Miguel Benet,.
There is no proven cure for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 to date, but Medical City says there is a long history of successful viral infection treatment using recovered plasma. After a person infected with a virus such as COVID-19 recovers, their blood contains antibodies produced by their immune system to help fight off the virus. Infusing their plasma into severely ill COVID-19 patients may help their immune system more effectively fight the virus. Recent examples of this approach have occurred during outbreaks of coronaviruses including SARS-1 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, though additional clinical data and more plasma donations are required to determine its effectiveness in treating COVID-19.
The study is being led by the Mayo Clinic and supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Medical City hospitals are among 172 hospitals participating from the HCA Healthcare network, which, along with Sarah Cannon Research Institute, is using its clinical research capabilities and national hospital network to expand collection and testing for the study. It’s one of several COVID-19 research initiatives in which HCA Healthcare and Sarah Cannon are participating.