Convalescent Plasma treatments for COVID-19 patients shows positive impact

Coronavirus


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – As some patients with COVID-19 continue to recover, the importance of donating blood is coming into the spotlight.

It can save lives, and it’s helping doctors at Augusta University Medical Center, who are using some advanced methods to treat their patients.

Vice President of AUMC Dr. Philip Coule spoke to NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Flete about the current treatment method and it’s effectiveness.

“We have patients that were on the ventilator and unfortunately maybe predicted high mortality but, we have been able to get those patients through some of our advanced treatment.”

An advanced treatment method called ‘convalescent plasma’ given to some of the patients with COVID-19.

“We take the plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 and give them that.”

Signifying the importance of COVID-19 patients who have recovered, being able to save others.

“One single patient that is otherwise healthy and has recovered from COVID-19 can treat four critically ill patients.”

Dr. Coule says the results are proof that those who have been through it can help those who are going through it.

“Improved…they are doing better. Off the ventilator and now moving out to the general ward from the ICU. That’s very encouraging news.”

Shepeard Community Blood Center’s Ashley Whitaker says there are some requirements for those coronavirus patients who are now better and want to help.

“We have to have a confirmed positive test from their doctors office, so that we know they did have COVID-19 and then we’ll have to make sure that they are now negative,” says Whitaker.

Some survivors spreading the same gift, as they come in ready to donate in hopes their experience with COVID-19 was not in vain.

“The folks that have recovered from COVID-19, the thing that they always say to us is that they are happy that something good has come out of their illness. With what they went through, their suffering. If they can help someone else then they are happy to donate that plasma and do that.”

She says hopefully this will encourage other people to do the same because there will always be a need even after the pandemic is over.

“This has been an interesting time for us. The need for blood and blood products…it doesn’t end. We still need people to come and donate. We are following the CDC social distancing guidelines, so we are trying to make it as safe as possible for people to come donate.”

Whitaker says if anyone is interested in having a mobile blood bank come out to the neighborhood. you can contact someone at (706)-737-4551

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