Greenwich Hospital is now participating in a nationwide clinical trial that provides plasma therapy to patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.
Plasma therapy has been used before to treat infectious diseases including SARS and Ebola. The trial is overseen by the Mayo Clinic, which was designated by the federal government to be the lead investigative body in this endeavor. Ten patients are receiving the plasma, which is being supplied by the New York Blood Center.
“In theory, the plasma contains protective antibodies that can transfer immunity to the coronavirus from a patient who had COVID-19 to someone who is suffering with the disease,” said Dr. James Sabetta, the hospital’s chief of staff and director of infectious diseases. “The patients who have received the plasma are still in the hospital recovering. It will take time to treat many patients to determine if the convalescent COVID plasma is of benefit.”
Sabetta added that the patients participating in this experimental treatment “must have a severe or life-threatening infection with COVID-19 or be judged to be at high risk of progression to life threatening disease.”
Greenwich Hospital is also planning to screen recovered COVID-19 patients if they can register as potential COVID convalescent plasma donors.