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Message from John DiAngelo
President and CEO, Inspira Health
Inspira Health, in collaboration with members of its medical staff, are enrolling patients in a clinical trial to determine the safety and effectiveness of convalescent plasma. In this study, blood plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 is being used for the treatment of patients with severe or rapidly worsening COVID-19. The Mayo Clinic, serving as the lead institution, is working collaboratively with industry, academic and government partners on this research study.
The study is based on the hypothesis that patients with COVID-19 may improve faster if they receive plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19, because the antibodies in the plasma, also referred to as convalescent plasma, may help the sick patient better fight the virus that causes the illness.
"The scientific community is cautiously optimistic that convalescent serum might prove beneficial to people with severe or life-threatening COVID-19," said Sami Abate, Ph.D. (c), M.S.N., M.S.H.S., R.N., CCRN, director of Clinical Research, Inspira Health. "We have identified six patients in our hospitals who meet the criteria to participate, and we are working with the Red Cross to secure the needed convalescent plasma."
In addition to enrolling patients in the clinical trial, the Inspira Health Clinical Research Office is contacting recently discharged COVID-19 patients to ask if they might consider donating plasma in support of the research study. Current supplies of COVID-19 convalescent plasma are quite small, severely limiting the number of study participants who can be given this potentially beneficial treatment. In its first week of outreach, the research office helped 12 recovered patients register as plasma donors with the American Red Cross.
Researchers and physicians have observed that for some other diseases caused by viruses, giving people plasma (the liquid portion of blood), obtained from those who have recovered from the virus, leads to more rapid improvement of the disease.
The immediate goal of this research is to determine if convalescent plasma can improve the chance of recovery for people with the most severe disease. A second goal is to test whether convalescent plasma can help keep people who are moderately sick from getting sicker.
Initial data available from studies using COVID-19 convalescent plasma for the treatment of individuals with severe or life-threatening disease indicate that a single dose showed benefit for some patients, leading to improvement.
People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 and are interested in donating plasma should contact Inspira Health by calling the Inspira COVID-19 Community Hotline at 1-800-772-2848, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, or via email at COVID19@ihn.org. To read more about the study visit www.uscovidplasma.org.
South Jersey Neighbors: Join our Blue Hearts for Heroes Campaign!
Join us in expressing our gratitude and support to all of the caregivers and staff going above and beyond by risking their lives every day treating patients.
Place a blue heart – an icon that is simple and easy to make, yet clearly defined and recognizable – in your window as a way to express your gratitude for health care workers on the front line.
These blue hearts could be created from anything at your disposal: construction paper, markers, crayons, beads, old shirts, painter’s tape, chalk drawings—anything, as long as it’s blue and in the shape of a heart.
Be sure to take photos or videos of your blue hearts and share on your social platforms using the hashtag #BlueHeartsForHeroes to recognize the bravery of front-line staff and their unwavering commitment to protecting the local community.