OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Blood Institute has collected its first donations of plasma from patients who are recovered from COVID-19.
Amir Akhtar, now recovered, hopes to be among the first to donate.
“I’m just happy that I can help someone and they can live,” said Akhtar.
Less than two weeks ago, he was still recovering. Now, he is completely symptom free and learned that he might be able to help others who have COVID-19.
“That was a really great feeling,” said Akhtar.
The treatment was approved by the FDA on Friday. OU Medical Center quickly jumped on board.
“I was actually looking for a trial like this,” said Dr. Jordan Metcalf, an OU Medicine Pulmonary and Critical Care Specialist.
The treatment uses the blood plasma from people like Akhtar who have recovered to inject into patients who are still fighting for their lives.
“The idea is that if you have recovered from COVID-19, you have very likely made significant amounts of antibodies to COVID-19,” said Metcalf.
Metcalf says he is optimistic and that the studies he’s seen are extremely promising.
“Fever goes down, the virus disappears from the blood stream, aches and pains get better,” said Metcalf.
The side effects are extremely low for both the patient and the donor.
“If you’re very ill with COVID, your chances of having a bad outcome from the COVID itself is way more than your chances of having an adverse reaction,” said Metcalf.
Akthar says he is ready to donate now.
“I’ve never donated blood ever in my life before. I will keep donating my blood for whoever needing,” said Akthar.
Metcalf says the only danger to the study is the public’s willingness to donate.
“Are we gonna have enough donors? We need to try and help the people in our community try and get better,” said Metcalf.
If you would like to donate and you are a recovered COVID-19 patient, you can register through the Oklahoma Blood Institute by clicking here.
If you believe you had COVID-19 but were never officially tested, you should also contact the Oklahoma Blood Institute.
Dr. Metcalf says it’s possible a test is in the works to test plasma for the antibodies needed for the study.