Published on May 21, 2020

Pardee UNC Health Care Participating in Mayo Clinic Clinical Trial Using Convalescent Plasma Therapy to Treat COVID-19

Pardee and the Blood Connection are asking patients previously infected with COVID, but now recovered to consider donating plasma locally.

Pardee UNC Health Care is participating in a national Expanded Access Program to collect and provide convalescent plasma to COVID-19 patients in need across the country. Working collaboratively with industry, academic and government partners, Mayo Clinic serves as the lead institution for the program. Pardee is one of several hospital systems in North and South Carolina participating in the program. Pardee encourages donation of plasma throughout the community and can provide convalescent plasma therapy for hospitalized patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19.

“Antibodies collected from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 appear to be effective in targeting the virus when given to patients hospitalized with the infection” said Dr. Chris Parsons, medical director for Pardee’s Center for Infectious Diseases. “This is referred to as convalescent plasma therapy and may be an important tool for helping patients with more severe forms of pneumonia recover more quickly.” Parsons notes that it is not yet known if convalescent plasma therapy is an effective treatment for COVID-19 since clinical trials have not been completed. According to the Mayo Clinic, collective results from people receiving the treatment can provide information about the effectiveness of the therapy and whether it can become an approved therapy to treat COVID-19 infection.

Patients with either a positive COVID-19 PCR test (known infection) or positive COVID-19 antibody test and at least 14 days without symptoms are eligible for donation. Individuals without symptoms, but who have a positive antibody test can also donate. The Blood Connection is providing antibody testing with every blood donation. People interested in the process can call 864-751-1168 and consider donating plasma at the Blood Connection sites in Hendersonville, located at 825 Spartanburg Highway or in Arden, located at 225 Airport Road.

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