MultiCare is asking people who have recovered from the coronavirus to consider giving blood for a new research therapy it’s testing with Covid-19 positive patients in Washington.
That therapy is called ‘convalescent plasma.’
The research project is led by the Mayo Clinic. MultiCare is one of the testing sites. Its investigator in western Washington is Dr. Scott Meehan.
“Our first three MultiCare patients received donor plasma on April 18. To date, we have treated 11 patients. These patients are doing well. With Covid-19, those who are severely ill, it’s a slow process of recovery, so we’re still monitoring their progress," he said.
Meehan hopes to be able to give more of these transfusions to people currently ill with Covid-19, but there’s a need for more plasma.
“In order for a donor to meet the criteria for donation, they had to have had Covid-19. They had to have recovered and been symptom free for 28 days, so it is a prolonged process that we’re just now able to start gearing up for," he said.
Meehan urges eastern Washington residents who think they qualify and want to donate to contact Vitalant, the new name for the Inland Northwest Blood Center, and make an appointment.
For now, he says the ‘convalescent plasma’ is going to the sickest of the Covid-19 patients. When it becomes more plentiful, he hopes to transfuse it into the blood of less ill patients to see if keeps their conditions from getting more acute.