Published on July 15, 2020

NMHS Patients Have Opportunity to Participate in COVID-19 Investigational Treatment


coronavirus graphicThose who have completely recovered from COVID-19 may have immune-boosting antibodies in their plasma—called “convalescent plasma”—that could be used to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients.

North Mississippi Medical Center is now working with Vitalant on collecting convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 as part of a program to treat patients infected with the virus. This FDA-sponsored investigation includes emergency use of a special blood product containing antibodies that may give patients an extra boost to fight the virus.

To be eligible to donate convalescent plasma, the individual must have a prior COVID-19 diagnosis documented by a laboratory test (or a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies) and meet additional eligibility requirements.

If you are interested in donating convalescent plasma, do not make a normal plasma appointment with Vitalant. Donors must meet additional criteria for convalescent plasma eligibility. To learn more and apply, visit www.vitalant.org/COVIDfree.

Patients at NMMC who are severely ill from COVID-19 are eligible to receive plasma from patients who have already recovered, according to Stephen Southworth, M.D., chairman of North Mississippi Health Services’ Institutional Review Board (IRB).

“Plasma donated from recovered COVID-19 patients may have the ability to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 through antibodies,” Dr. Southworth said. “This treatment is investigational, but early results are promising.”

Affected patients must provide informed consent and meet inclusion criteria in order to be eligible. While the national protocol is being overseen by the Mayo Clinic, this program was reviewed and approved by the NMHS IRB.

Jeff Michelletti and Brian Donner of NMMC’s Oncology Research Department coordinated with Mayo Clinic to open this study at NMMC.  Oncology staff are responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance, as well as proper documentation and collection of all information as outlined by the study’s protocol.  

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