Convalescent Plasma Therapy - Washington DC VA Medical Center
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Convalescent Plasma Therapy

Photo of convalescent plasma therapy, an experimental treatment which collects plasma from recovered patients.

Photo of convalescent plasma therapy, an experimental treatment which collects plasma from recovered patients.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

There is a flickering of optimism on the horizon for treating Veterans with COVID-19, called convalescent plasma therapy. The plasma of patients who have recovered from the virus contains antibodies which can possibly help treat patients with COVID-19.

The Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been selected to participate in the Mayo Clinic study which is evaluating convalescent plasma therapy. The national effort includes experts from various health care fields who are working to alert possible donors who meet several criteria established by the Food and Drug Administration.

According to DC VA Medical Center physician, Dr. Angelike Liappis, who serves as the Director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, there is a very large demand and unfortunately a low supply of the plasma. "This is an experimental treatment and although it looks promising at first glance, much more additional research is needed. One of the first steps in the research process is collecting convalescent plasma."

Research strides can be achieved with your help. All patients who have recovered from COVID-19 are asked to speak to their Primary Care Provider about their eligibility to donate plasma.

If you have recovered from COVID-19 and wish to celebrate your recovery by helping others, please see the information below.

How do I qualify to donate?

Talk to your health care provider to see if you fit the criteria, including:

    • You have had a documented positive result for COVID-19 infection on a diagnostic test at the time of illness and
    • You have had no symptoms for at least 28 days before you donate.

How do I donate?

  • The American Red Cross is ready to accept your donation once you meet criteria for recovery and have a signed clearance from your Primary Care Provider or VA Occupational Health Provider;
  • Your provider will refer you to the Red Cross and you will be called with an appointment time and donation site.
  • Please tell the American Red Cross you are “A friend of the VA” and that you prefer your donation be sent to the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Donations will go to those most in need, and while they may not be able to send us the blood directly - every donation made towards the VA will be tracked by American Red Cross which helps to prioritize requests for hospitalized Veterans;
  • If you qualify, you can donate more than one time and each donation may help up to four individuals who are infected with COVID-19.

Your convalescent plasma is a gift of life. Be sure to mention your connection to the Washington DC VA Medical Center.

For more information please refer to the website:  https://covidplasma.org/

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