WellSpan Health uses convalescent plasma treatment for some COVID-19 patients


YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — WellSpan Health says the most critically ill COVID-19 patients may qualify for an investigational treatment using convalescent plasma.

As part of the Food and Drug Administration’s expanded access program through the Mayo Clinic, WellSpan Health physicians have started to offer this new treatment to COVID-19 patients.

“The blood of those who have recovered from COVID-19 has some antibodies that could help patients who are hospitalized with severe symptoms,” said Qammar Abbas, M.D., a pulmonary and critical care specialist with WellSpan Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine. “Since this is a new disease, the effectiveness and safety of plasma is not yet proven, however, we’ve seen some patients improve significantly following treatment with convalescent plasma with no significant side effects so far.”

To date, WellSpan Health physicians have used this investigational treatment for some of the sickest
COVID-19 patients at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital, WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital and
WellSpan York Hospital. Only those who are critically ill and hospitalized qualify for convalescent plasma treatment.

“Plasma in the blood of healthy, recovered COVID-19 patients can help others,” said Michelle Erickson, M.D., WellSpan Blood Donor Services. “These individuals should be symptom-free for 28 days before coming to the center to donate.”

WellSpan Health operates blood donation offices at the Apple Hill Medical Center in York County and at WellSpan Good Samaritan’s Norman Drive Blood Donor Center in Lebanon County. WellSpan also works with The Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank to secure blood donations for patients.

Blood donation is safe, and those who are interested in donating plasma can call their local blood
donation center for an appointment, 717-741-8307 (York), 717-270-8960 (Lebanon) or visit WellSpan
Blood Donor Services.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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