norwood hospital (copy)

Norwood Hospital

Norwood Hospital is looking for plasma donations from those who have had COVID-19 and recovered.

The hospital has a convalescent plasma-treatment program for COVID-19 patients.

Plasma from those who have recovered from the disease is helping some victims by speeding up recovery, authorities say.

"People who recover from a COVID-19 infection have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood for some period of time,” Dr. Matthew Lowry, chief medical officer at Norwood Hospital, said. “Transfusing the plasma that contains the antibodies into a person still fighting the virus will hopefully provide a boost to that patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover.”

“Convalescent plasma therapy is not a new concept and has been tried for SARS-CoV-1, MERS and H1N1 Influenza outbreaks previously," Lowry added. "COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 has no readily available antiviral treatment options to date. As we fight this pandemic, convalescent plasma is again being evaluated as a possible option.”

Patients and donors have to meet eligibility requirements.

The patients have to be serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 cases, or those judged by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening cases.

Eligible donors must meet three criteria. They must be at least 17 years old and weigh 110 pounds (additional weight requirements apply for donors 18 or younger); be in good health and generally feel well even if they're being treated for a chronic condition; and have a prior, verified diagnosis of COVID-19 but are now symptom-free and fully recovered.

To learn more or to start a screening process, fill out a secure form at www.norwood-hospital.org/covid-19-updates-and-resources or call Ailish Wilkie, director of quality and safety, at 781-278-6310.

For additional details, visit the American Red Cross at www.redcrossblood.org/faq.html#donating-blood-covid-19-convalescent-plasma.

The American Red Cross, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is also asking people who are fully recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma for current patients.

Go to redcrossblood.org for more information.

Stephen Peterson can be reached at 508-236-0377.

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