Oklahoma Blood Institute collecting plasma from recovered coronavirus patients for experimental treatment

image of a test tube with covid-19 marked positive

(Photo by Thomas Imo/Photothek via Getty Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Blood Institute has begun collecting convalescent plasma from patients who recovered from COVID-19 in its experimental initiative to treat patients who are seriously ill from coronavirus.

OBI officials issued a news release Thursday announcing that OBI has collected the first units of convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients.

OBI created a statewide registry to catalog available recovered COVID-19 patients who can become potential donors. The registry was created as a rapid response to the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to fast track the potential treatment, according to an OBI news release.

The registry has been live less than a week and already has more than 20 patients signed up, “one of whom was the first to donate plasma units,” according to the news release.

“At OBI, we’ve always pursued innovation and emerging opportunities to improve health and save lives,” said John Armitage, MD, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “Today, that innovation has allowed us to bring hope to patients and their medical teams as they explore this new treatment option.”

Plasma units that are collected will be processed and tested for safety.

“Once cleared for patient use, they will be transfused to critically ill patients at local partner hospitals as part of the experimental initiative,” the news release states.

More patients who have recovered from coronavirus will need to donate plasma as the COVID-19 crisis continues, according to the news release.

An individual must meet the following criteria to donate convalescent plasma:

  • Have a prior diagnosis of COVID-19, documented by a laboratory test
  • Be symptom-free for 14 days prior to donation and test negative for COVID-19 (testing will be provided, if needed)
  • Be eligible to donate blood

If you meet the above criteria and want to donate, you can sign up at https://mobile.bio-linked.org/.

“Our team is honored to be pioneering a cutting-edge treatment that allows special patients who have fought off COVID to use plasma donations to power recovery for other patients,” Armitage said. “Generosity is a natural strength of our species and now we can use it directly to defeat this terrible virus.”

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