The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19. Convalescent plasma is the liquid portion of the blood collected from patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19. Results from an FDA-sponsored Mayo Clinic expanded access program confirmed that, like other plasma transfusions, COVID-19 convalescent plasma is safe and doesn’t appear to have significant side effects. It may help improve outcomes if antibody levels are high enough.
Intermountain has been one of the top participants in the national convalescent plasma treatment protocol, which will now be replaced by the emergency use authorization. More than 500 Intermountain COVID-19 patients have already received convalescent plasma. Infectious diseases specialist Brandon Webb, MD, says we don’t expect the FDA’s announcement to change Intermountain’s use of convalescent plasma, but he worries the change will increase the already acute shortage of plasma donated from recovered COVID-19 patients because of increased demand. Intermountain’s asking anyone who’s eligible to consider donating.
Read more about convalescent plasma here.