LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Lancaster County’s largest health care provider announced they will be using convalescent plasma therapy as an experimental way to treat COVID-19 patients. Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health made the announcement on Thursday.
Convalescent plasma therapy involves taking plasma from someone who has recovered and giving it to someone who is currently sick.
Matt Woolley is the first person to donate his plasma to the program. Woolley told ABC27 News that he was diagnosed with COVID-19 in early March after he took a ski trip to Utah.
“For me it was aches, chills, and the cough was the worst,” he recalled. “The coughing and the breathing became the most difficult part. I ended up staying on the couch 24/7.”
Woolley, who is now fully recovered, said he was anxious to try to help others.
“We can all do our part,” he told ABC27 News. “I unfortunately contracted the virus, got over it and there is research out there that shows our plasma for those who have recovered can help others.”
Experts have said the experimental treatment has shown promising signs as a way to help those who are hospitalized.
“It’s actually easier than donating blood,” Woolley said. “It doesn’t wear you out. It’s not keeping your red blood cells, they are just taking your plasma.”
Woolley said he the thought of donating his plasma to save others was fantastic.
“The plasma isn’t doing me any sitting in my body,” he noted. “Let’s see if it can help somebody else.”