Hospitals Around the World Need Your Help to Save Lives
As many of you know, there’s a common treatment we’ve been using successfully since the 1800s against viruses like SARS, MERS, H1N1, and others: convalescent plasma. Convalescent is a word used to describe people who are recovering from an illness. Plasma extracted from the blood of post-convalescent COVID-19 patients has been used in experimental treatments around the world with shockingly positive results. This means if you recovered from the virus, we can take your blood and use it to save people who are fighting for their lives.
Before we dive in, here are a few notes to help you through the content:
DPOI = Days post-onset of illness
COVID-19 = The illness that’s killing people
SARS-CoV-2 = The virus that causes COVID-19
CP = Convalescent plasma
Results from the Study
(Scroll Down to Find Out How You Can Save Lives)
In a recent study, 20 severe COVID-19 cases were monitored before and after 10 of the patients received CP treatment. Symptoms present at the outset of the trial included severe fever, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and dangerously low oxygenation. Prior to treatment, three of the test group patients were receiving mechanical ventilation, three were receiving high-flow cannula oxygenation, and three were receiving low-flow nasal oxygenation. Simply put, these were patients in need of rescue.
Patient One was a particularly impressive case supporting the use of CP treatment. At 10 DPOI, he was receiving mechanical ventilation in a critical care unit. He received the CP treatment at 11 DPOI. The next day, 12 DPOI, he tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. The day after that, he was weaned from the ventilator. Immunological and liver function was observed to be improved at 15 DPOI.
The Rest of the Test Group
In the test group, all symptoms in all patients either disappeared completely or were largely improved within one to three days of treatment. SARS-CoV-2 was undetectable in seven patients by day six. Three test group patients were discharged and seven were ready to be discharged. Seven out of the ten test patients showed increased lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell used to measure immune response.
The Control Group
In the control group, the group that did not receive the treatment, three patients died, six were stable, and one had improved. These patients were still receiving all of the antiviral and supportive care available and all available action was taken to save their lives, except CP.
Optimistic Results from the Test Group
- Clinical symptoms and paraclinical criteria rapidly improved within three days (Chen, 2020)
- Radiological exam showed varying degrees of absorption of lung lesions within seven days (Chen, 2020)
- Results showed that one dose (200ml) of CP was well-tolerated and could significantly increase or maintain the neutralizing antibodies at a high level, leading to disappearance of viremia in seven days (Chen, 2020)
The CP treatment was used in addition to any supportive care and antiviral agents deemed necessary. The first priority of the study was to determine whether the treatment was safe. The second priority was to determine if the treatment was effective. Under ideal conditions, studies would be performed on a larger scale and would be repeated several times.
These are not ideal conditions, but the data we have is extremely promising. There are currently no approved specific antiviral agents for COVID-19. The safety and efficacy of remdesivir and corticosteroid treatments are still being evaluated. Results indicate that CP is a viable rescue option for severe COVID-19 cases.
We Need Your Blood!!!
The FDA has approved the use of convalescent plasma, or CP, in life-threatening cases of COVID-19. By actively recruiting former patients and previously SARS-CoV-2-positive community members, hospitals around the world are doing their best to stock up on this life-saving treatment, but many hospitals don’t have the resources to take the same action.
There is not enough CP to save all the lives that need saving. If the following applies to you, you are a potential donor and your community NEEDS you to register with your local blood bank. If you’ve had SARS-CoV-2, but you don’t fit these criteria, please contact your local blood bank to find out if you’re still a potential donor.
- Normal temperature for more than three days
- Resolution of respiratory tract symptoms
- At least three weeks post-onset of illness and four days post-discharge
- OR two consecutively negative SARS-CoV-2 tests
Check for a Vitalant Blood Bank in Your Area
Vitalant is seeking donations of CP. If there’s not a Vitalant Blood Bank in your area, please take two seconds to do a Google search and find out where you can donate. If you can’t donate or if you haven’t had SARS-CoV-2, spread the word.
Chen, Z. (2020, March 18). Effectiveness of convalescent plasma therapy in severe COVID-19 patients. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Retrieved from https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/04/02/2004168117