Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 invited to donate plasma that may help treat high-risk patients
Norton Healthcare physicians are testing a possible treatment for COVID-19 using convalescent plasma taken from blood donated by fully recovered COVID-19 patients.
With approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Norton Healthcare is recruiting candidates to donate plasma that may contain coronavirus-fighting antibodies. As an experimental treatment, the initial convalescent plasma procedure is available only to patients who are severely ill from the disease.
Convalescent plasma has been used over the past several years to treat severe illnesses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), avian influenza and Ebola virus.
“This is an exciting method to provide a passive immunity to infected individuals who are unable to mount a response to fight the infection,” said Joseph M. Flynn, D.O., MPH, FACP, chief administrative officer, Norton Medical Group, and physician-in-chief, Norton Cancer Institute.
Many studies have been published showing exciting results using convalescent plasma to fight respiratory viral infections.
“More recently, a study of five patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and demonstrated exciting results,” Dr. Flynn said.
How to Take Part in the COVID-19 Plasma Study
You can be evaluated to donate plasma if you:
- Had a positive COVID-19 test, and have been symptom-free for at least 14 days
- Had COVID-19 symptoms after March 4, 2020, were exposed to a patient who tested positive and have been symptom-free for 14 days
Or, fill out a questionnaire in your MyNortonChart account through a web browser: Choose the “Health” icon. Under “Medical Tools,” choose Questionnaires, then “COVID Plasma Donor.”
If you have a loved one who may be eligible to take part in the trial, discuss the possibility with their physician.
Dr. Flynn, who launched the development of Norton Healthcare Convalescent Plasma Program, said the expanded-use protocol will allow Norton Healthcare to treat a much greater number of patients.
Don A. Stevens, M.D., a hematologist/oncologist with Norton Cancer Institute and one of the institute’s founders, is the primary investigator on this new study. Dr. Stevens has led many clinical trials at Norton Healthcare, bringing leading-edge hematology and cancer treatments to Louisville-area patients.
Norton Healthcare’s clinical trial program is the most robust program in the region and has been instrumental in the development of many drugs and medical devices. Norton Healthcare clinical trials include emerging treatments for cancer, cardiovascular issues, neurologic conditions, orthopedic conditions, maternal-fetal medicine and many more.
To take part in the Norton Healthcare expanded convalescent plasma study, eligible donors:
- Must have had a positive COVID-19 test, must be symptom-free for at least 14 days and must have a negative follow-up COVID-19 test
- Had COVID-19 symptoms after March 4, 2020, were exposed to a patient who tested positive, have been symptom-free for 14 days; and have a COVID-19 test that detects antibodies (IgM/ IgG) with confirmed positive IgG, and a negative COVID-19 test
Additional requirements, such as those associated with any blood donation, also apply.