CDR Maguire this week called on Floridians who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma to help treat others struggling with the condition.
Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients contains antibodies that in some cases have helped currently infected patients recover from the disease.
The use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 is currently being investigated, though blood plasma antibodies are effective in treating other maladies and early evidence suggests it may be similarly effective in treating COVID-19.
CDR Maguire President Carlos Duart has some first-hand knowledge of convalescent plasma’s potential.
Duart was recently hospitalized and placed in a step-down intensive care unit with complications from COVID-19. After receiving plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient, his condition improved dramatically. He has since returned home and is on his way to a full recovery.
“Carlos’ situation was dire and there were very few options to help him. After receiving convalescent plasma, the reversal of his condition was borderline miraculous,” CDR Maguire executive vice president Tina Vidal-Duart said.
“Perhaps the most frightening thing was the severe shortage of plasma from those who have recovered from this horrific virus. We are asking everyone we test and now the public to please — if you have recovered from COVID-19 — donate your plasma, as it can and will save lives.”
A recent Mayo Clinic study, “Safety Update: COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma in 20,000 Hospitalized Patients,” backs up Vidal-Duart’s statement.
According to the study, the “updated data provides robust evidence that transfusion of convalescent plasma is safe in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and supports the notion that earlier administration of plasma within the clinical course of COVID-19 is more likely to reduce mortality.”
Physicians on the frontlines have made similar statements.
Dr. Carla McWilliams, chief of infectious diseases for Cleveland Clinic Florida-Weston, said patients treated with convalescent plasma “improved dramatically within a couple days.”
Dr. Samer Fahmy, chief medical information officer at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, said, “CP therapy has been shown to reduce mortality and complications in patients who are critically ill with COVID-19. … So far, we have infused close to 60 patients, many of whom have significant comorbidities, and the results have been very promising. We’ve already discharged a number of patients who were in the ICU.”
Vidal-Duart’s final plea: “We are grateful for the progress that Carlos has made but want to do everything we can to help other patients. The systemic shortage of convalescent plasma, especially for rare blood types like his, means this is an urgent matter and we strongly encourage anyone who has tested positive and has recovered to please donate their plasma as soon as possible,” Vidal urged.