Corpus Christi Medical Center (CCMC) announced today that it is participating in a national study to help COVID-19 patients in severe condition. The study which involves collecting and testing plasma from convalescent, or recovered, COVID-19 patients is being led by the Mayo Clinic and supported by the USDA.
While there's no proven therapy to date for COVID-19 patients, there is history of successful viral infection treatment using convalescent plasma. Researchers say someone who has been infected with COVID-19 and recovered produces antibodies in their blood. This is referred to as convalescent plasma. Doctors transfuse the plasma with antibodies to severely stricken patients in hopes of boosting their immune system to fight the virus. Similar procedures were performed during other coronavirus outbreaks like SARS-1 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrom (MERS). More data is needed to determine if the blood tranfusions work so CCCMC is asking for COVID-19 survivors to donate plasma.
“We are proud to take part in this important study. We are asking for the help of our community to spread awareness about plasma donation for patients facing COVID-19 not only in Houston, South Texas and Corpus Christi, but also around the world,” says Mujtaba Ali-Khan, Chief Medical Officer at HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division.
Corpus Christi Medical Center joins the Sarah Cannon Research Institute and these other HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division Hospitals in the efforts:
HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake
HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe
HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood
HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast
HCA Houston Healthcare West
HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball
HCA Houston Healthcare North Cypress
HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest
HCA Houston Healthcare Mainland
HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center
Rio Grande Regional Hospital
Valley Regional Medical Center
“This trial is just the first step, but hopefully it will help us determine if plasma transfusions can be a treatment for critically ill patients with COVID-19,” said Eric Deppert, MD, chief medical officer at Corpus Christi Medical Center.
Anyone who has previously tested positive for COVID-19 and have since tested negative can donate plasma through the American Red Cross or another local donation center.
To find out more about the donation process, eligibility and locations to donate in Houston, Brownsville, McAllen and Corpus Christi, call the dedicated COVID-19 Plasma Phone Line at (833) 582-1971.