Plasma Donations Being Used to Treat COVID-19 Patients

Published on September 02, 2020

Plasma Donations Being Used to Treat COVID-19 Patients

If you have recovered from COVID-19 and are willing to donate plasma, please email or contact a Bronson Care Advisor at (269) 341-7788. 

Photo of a man making a plasma donation

In May, the Bronson Healthcare system became one of more than 2,100 sites around the country to take part in a convalescent plasma program to treat patients who have a COVID-19 diagnosis.

With this type of treatment, plasma donated from a recovered patient is given to someone with a current case of the virus. The plasma from recovered patients may contain antibodies that may help fight the disease.

Bronson is helping this ongoing nationwide cooperative study being conducted by the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Carla Schwalm, medical director for Bronson Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, helped launch plasma treatment at Bronson. “In my lifetime, I have never seen a study like this take place in adult medicine,” says Dr. Schwalm. “The medical community has come together so quickly in an effort to find an effective cure for this virus. Being able to treat our patients here at Bronson with the highest level of cutting-edge care – the same care they are providing at institutions like the Mayo – is really exciting.”

The effectiveness of plasma in treating COVID-19 is still unknown and it will take time to study. The good news is that risks are very low for both donors and those receiving plasma. Dr. Schwalm says Bronson has a list of nearly 500 recovered patients who may be eligible to donate plasma. “Right now, with our limited supply, we are only treating the most sick of our COVID-19 patients with plasma. However, the more donors we get, the easier it will be to find a match, and we’ll be able to treat more patients with infusions.”

Dr. Schwalm encourages patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and are willing to donate plasma to contact Bronson by emailing or calling a Care Advisor at (269) 341-7788. Recovered patients can make a plasma donation 28 days after they are symptom-free.