WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As scientists around the world search for a cure for COVID-19, plasma treatment is now showing progress, which is why the Texas Blood Institute is asking for recovered coronavirus patients to donate their plasma.
Fifteen patients have already donated their plasma to the TBI and other patients around the country are doing the same. While plasma treatment may not be a cure, it can help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“Plasma’s got a long history of being used to treat infectious diseases,” MSU medical director Dr. Keith Williamson said.
Since history repeats itself, medical officials around the country have now turned to plasma to treat the coronavirus.
“Whenever somebody gets an infection, if they survive it, they survive it because they’re body made antibodies to that infection,” Williamson said. “Those can be withdrawn from the body in a blood donation separated and given back to patients who are too sick to fight it off on their own.”
These antibodies can be very beneficial to the critically ill.
“What they’re looking at using is these who go into intensive care and have a high risk of dying if you could treat them with convalescent serum with these antibodies it might decrease the cardiac and kidney complications and enable them to survive,” Williamson said.
This research is one of the main reasons behind why the Texas Blood Institute is asking for patients who have recovered from the virus to come forward.
“This is an opportunity for people to participate in a new and unique way in saving lives,” Texas Blood Institute vice president of southwest division operations and special projects Daren Coats said. “As that Bio-Linked program helps us do some new things, it gives us a cutting edge opportunity to be out front when something new presents itself.”
While plasma treatment isn’t a cure, it can do a lot of good people in need.
“If we developed enough supply of this convalescent hyperimmune serum then we might be able to use it in other applications. But that’ll take some time,” Williamson said.
TBI officials said it is safe for anyone to come to donate at one of their buildings. To find out if you qualify for this initiative, click here.