April 28, 2020
Oak Hill Hospital announced today it is participating in a national study to determine if plasma from convalescent, or recovered, COVID-19 patients may benefit individuals currently hospitalized with severe or life-threatening cases of the virus. As part of the effort, Oak Hill Hospital is seeking eligible volunteers in Hernando County to donate plasma to help current patients in need.
"During this COVID-19 crisis, our community has come together in many different ways to support healthcare heroes," said Dr. Ed Nast, Chief Medical Officer. "We now ask people who have recovered from COVID-19 to potentially save the lives of their family, friends, and people they will never meet, through testing and donation in partnership with LifeSouth Community Blood Centers."
To date, there is no proven therapy for individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19, but there is a long history of successful viral infection treatment using convalescent plasma. After someone is infected with a virus like COVID-19 and recovers, their blood contains antibodies that their immune system produced to help them fight off the virus. By infusing this plasma into patients who are facing severe cases of COVID-19, their immune system might more effectively be able to fight the virus. Recent examples of this approach have occurred during outbreaks of coronaviruses like SARS-1, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), but additional clinical data - and more plasma donations - are needed to determine efficacy in treating COVID-19.
The success of the study hinges on the continued collection of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. People who tested positive for COVID-19 and have since tested negative, can help by donating plasma through LifeSouth Community Blood Centers or other blood bank services. To find out more about the donation process, eligibility, and locations to donate along Florida's West Coast, please call our dedicated COVID-19 Plasma phone line at (833) 582-1971.
Oak Hill Hospital is part of HCA Healthcare West Florida and is among 172 hospitals participating from the HCA Healthcare network. HCA Healthcare, along with its Sarah Cannon Research Institute, is leveraging its clinical research capabilities and national hospital network to quickly expand collection and testing for this study, which is being led by the Mayo Clinic and supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is one of several research initiatives involving COVID-19, in which HCA Healthcare and Sarah Cannon are participating.
Lifesouth Community Blood Centers COVID-19 plasma donation qualifications.