Vitalant, Centura collect "convalescent plasma" from recovered COVID-19 patient

Posted at 2:42 PM, Apr 16, 2020

DENVER — Vitalant has partnered with Centura Health to collect the first "convalescent plasma" donation in Colorado.

Makenzie Lewis, a medical doctor, said she had mild symptoms when she tested positive for coronavirus.

After recovering she worked with Centura to complete the documentation necessary to donate as part of Vitalant's new program to help those who are critically ill with COVID-19 to fight the illness.

Lewis donated her plasma on Sunday, April 12.

“I’m excited, I’m here to make a difference, I’m here to help somebody who needs it,” Lewis said. “It’s a really important way to get out and help people and make a difference when you’re feeling helpless.”

There are currently no vaccines or proven treatments for COVID-19 because the virus is so new.

There are vaccine trials currently underway, but none are expected to be approved for several months.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved convalescent plasma as an "emergency investigational new drug," and it is the only antibody treatment currently available to COVID-19 patients.

The hope is that the treatment will help the body to fight against COVID-19 by using antibodies present in the donated plasma.

Eligibility criteria are:

  • Prior diagnosis of COVID-19, documented by a laboratory test
  • Complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days
  • Meet all other current FDA donor eligibility requirements to donate plasma

There may be other tests and criteria required.

Anyone who meets the above requirements and wants to donate can apply through the Vitalant website. For more information call 866-CV-PLSMA (866-287-5762)

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