The most critically ill COVID-19 patients at WellSpan Health hospitals may qualify for an investigational treatment using convalescent plasma. As part of the Food and Drug Administration’s expanded access program through the Mayo Clinic, WellSpan Health physicians have started to offer this new treatment to COVID-19 patients.
“The blood of those who have recovered from COVID-19 has some antibodies that could help patients who are hospitalized with severe symptoms,” said Dr. Qammar Abbas, a pulmonary and critical care specialist with WellSpan Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine.
“Since this is a new disease, the effectiveness and safety of plasma is not yet proven,” he said. “However, we’ve seen some patients improve significantly following treatment with convalescent plasma with no significant side effects so far.”
To date, WellSpan Health physicians have used this investigational treatment for some of the sickest COVID-19 patients at Good Samaritan, Chambersburg And York Hospitals. Only those who are critically ill and hospitalized qualify for convalescent plasma treatment.
A call to donate
“Plasma in the blood of healthy, recovered COVID-19 patients can help others,” said Michelle Erickson, M.D., WellSpan Blood Donor Services. “These individuals should be symptom-free for 28 days before coming to the center to donate.”
WellSpan Health operates blood donation offices at the Apple Hill Medical Center in York County and Good Samaritan’s Norman Drive Blood Donor Center in Lebanon County. Across the region, WellSpan works with The Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank to secure blood donations for patients.
Blood donation is safe. Those who are interested in donating plasma can call their local blood donation center for an appointment or visit WellSpan Blood Donor Services.
About WellSpan Health
WellSpan Health is an integrated health system that serves the communities of central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland. The organization has more than 1,600 physicians and advanced practice clinicians; a regional behavioral health organization; a home care organization; eight hospitals; approximately 20,000 employees and more than 200 patient care locations. WellSpan is a charitable, mission-driven organization, committed to exceptional care for all, lifelong wellness and healthy communities. Visit WellSpan.org.