Dr. Larry Antonucci, M.D., MBA, President & CEO, is proud to share this exciting announcement:
“We are excited to announce that Lee Health was accepted and registered as a participating site in Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Study. Starting Monday, April 20, patients who are admitted to Lee Health hospitals with proven SARS-COV-2 infection (the virus that causes COVID-19) may qualify to enroll in this clinical trial, which provides access to experimental convalescent plasma. Convalescent plasma refers to blood plasma collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19. That plasma is then used to treat others with advanced illness.
Enrollment in the study is not guaranteed, as it is based on the protocol’s preset exclusion and inclusion criteria, as well as the availability of an appropriate blood-type matched unit of convalescent plasma.
To launch this study, Lee Health needs a supply of convalescent plasma. We are asking patients who have tested positive for the virus and recovered to donate blood at one of our donation sites. All donations collected by Lee Health will stay in our community and will be used exclusively for our patients.
While there is no known safe and effective treatment, this study is an exciting step in our fight against COVID-19. Based on the use of convalescent plasma to treat other viral infections, researchers hypothesize that the plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients may contain antibodies that may help fight the disease and help speed recovery. As in any clinical research study, it is unknown if the treatment will be therapeutic, and there are risks involved. All participants will sign informed consent, as required by the Mayo Clinic’s Institutional Review Board, a committee tasked with protecting the rights and welfare of human subjects.
If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19, and your symptoms resolved, and you later tested negative for the virus, please consider donating blood. Email COVID.plasma@LeeHealth.org to volunteer.
Thank you to our Lee Health team, including the teams at Shipley Cardiothoracic Center, who worked to secure our spot in this study. To all who can help supply the plasma that may help save lives in our community, we thank you, too.”