Comanche County Memorial Hospital is now part of the Mayo Clinic’s nationwide trial to see if convalescent plasma can be used to treat patients with COVID-19.
The Chief Medical Officer at Comanche County Memorial Hospital says convalescent plasma is one of the only therapies that’s showing promise for coronavirus.
But what is convalescent plasma and how does it work?
“These patients that’s recovered from coronavirus have antibodies in their system that fought off the coronavirus,” said Dr. Scott Michener. “So, you take plasma from one patient that has recovered with the antibodies and give them to another patient that is suffering from coronavirus.”
After reading about the study they’re doing, Dr. Michener reached out to the Mayo Clinic. He says he didn’t think that a small community hospital could qualify, but they were able to join the study.
“It’s huge for patients of Southwest Oklahoma,” said Dr. Michener. “I mean, even if we save one life, which I think we’ll save more, even if we save one life, it’s going to mean a lot for the hospital, the patient, their family, and for Comanche County as a whole.”
He says there isn’t much plasma available, so for them to be able to give it to a patient, one of the requirements is the patient has to be on a ventilator. He says, as of yesterday, there were only 30 units available in the state.
“We’re optimistic that it’s going to work,” said Dr. Michener. “We have four patients upstairs on the ventilator right now, and we’ve applied to get plasma for all four of those patients.”
Dr. Michener says if they get approved for the plasma, they could administer it as early as today, if not tomorrow.
“We’ve been told we probably won’t get it for all four patients just because of the demand, but we’re going to keep trying for every patient that qualifies,” said Dr. Michener.
Dr. Michener says if you tested positive for the virus, and you have recovered, you can donate plasma by going to the Oklahoma Blood Institute.
To donate, you must have tested negative for the virus after getting it and be symptom-free for two-weeks.