Convalescent Plasma being used in discovering COVID-19 treatment

Posted at 6:22 AM, Apr 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-11 10:18:02-04

COLORADO — Cases are going up, and stay at home orders have been extended in Colorado. Meanwhile, a group of doctors and researchers in the state are studying to find a cure for COVID-19.

Hospitals and organizations such as Vitalant in the state are working closely to collect convalescent plasma, which comes from those who have recovered from the virus to discover new treatment options. It's a process changing daily.

"Based on immunology principles from over 100 years, there's beliefs that the passive immune therapy will be helpful in controlling and mitigating the infection and disease," said Larry Dumont, MBA PhD, Vice President of Research and Scientific Programs for the Vitalant Research Institute in Denver.

Convalescent Plasma is also being used as a treatment option for those battling the virus.

The discovery is changing daily as are the requirements for those wanting to donate. Organizations like Vitalant are posting the requirements on its webpage. One of the main changes is- if someone has recovered from the virus, they cannot just show up to a blood donation center to donate- there's a process to keep everyone safe.

One of the main requirements is that those who have recovered need to wait 14 days before donating. Then patients will need to fill out a form.

"There's a lot of things we don't know about this, we have history with similar applications with flu virus, Measles virus, and other viruses but on this specific one we have virtually zero information," said Dumont.

When it comes to finding answers, while Dumont is working long days- he says there's a lot being done at the research level that could lead to some answers.

"I think we're closer everyday, we're learning more about the immunology everyday, we're starting to treat more patients," said Dumont.