John Randolph MC coordinating plasma donations
John Randolph MC is one of 172 hospitals in 20 states coordinating plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 patients to inject into current patients
A Hopewell hospital will be part of a nationwide study on whether plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can help treat those with severe or life-threatening cases of the virus.
John Randolph Medical Center is one of four central Virginia hospitals that will be seeking plasma donors from convalesced volunteers, its parent company HCA Virginia announced Monday morning. The others are Chippenham and Johnson-Willis medical centers in Chesterfield County, and Henrico Doctors Hospital.
The hospitals are working with the federal government and the American Red Cross to develop a roster of possible donors from the central Virginia area. Actual donations of plasma would be taken by the Red Cross or through local donation centers.
In a statement, Dr. Jake O’Shea, chief medical officer of HCA’s Capital Division, said the four hospitals are “proud” to take part in the study, which involves 172 hospitals in 20 states.
“We are asking for the help of our community to spread awareness about plasma donation for patients facing COVID-19 not only here in the Richmond metropolitan area, but also around the world,” O’Shea said in the statement.
Antibody therapy is being studied as a potential cure for the current coronavirus pandemic, given its success in treatments of patients with SARS-1 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome — both of which were classified as coronaviruses.
Scientists said those who recovered from SARS-1 and MERS were able to do so because their blood built up antibodies to fight off the virus.
The Mayo Clinic and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have ramped up research to determine the effectiveness of antibody therapy for current COVID-19 patients. In Virginia and across the nation, plasma from a recovered patient is injected into the bloodstreams of existing patients in an effort to help their immune system fight off the virus.
Plasma donors have to meet certain eligibility requirements in order to take part in the process.
HCA said the success of the study will depend upon the number of donors participating, Anyone who is eligible is being asked to call (833) 582-1971 or visit the website.