Fairfield Medical Center Participates in COVID-19 Investigational Treatment Study
Article originally published May 20, 2020.
Fairfield Medical Center is excited to announce its participation in the COVID-19 investigational treatment study led by the Mayo Clinic, which provides convalescent plasma infusions as a treatment for patients experiencing severe or life-threatening complications from COVID-19.
As the battle against COVID-19 continues, Fairfield Medical Center has joined some of the nation’s leaders in the race to identify an effective form of treatment. In addition to the development of antiviral medications and vaccines, researchers have turned their focus to an existing therapy: convalescent plasma.
Convalescent plasma, which comes from blood donated by recovered COVID-19 patients, contains antibodies that may help critically ill patients better fight the disease when received via transfusion. For this reason, the Expanded Access to Convalescent Plasma for the Treatment of Patients with COVID-19 clinical trial – led by the Mayo Clinic and supported by the FDA – was created to increase access to this specific type of antibody-rich blood product. This will also closely evaluate its impact when used to treat patients who are diagnosed with severe or life-threatening COVID-19.
“Participating in this study allows FMC to make a difference in the lives of our patients by offering a therapy that potentially can lessen the severity of their symptoms and save lives,” said Dr. Jarrod Bruce, FMC pulmonologist and Intensive Care Unit practitioner and principal investigator of the study. “Being proactive, innovative and agile will be key in managing this pandemic, and our team is proud to be part of finding a treatment.”
Based on prior experience with respiratory viruses and data that has emerged from China, this treatment has the potential to lessen the severity or shorten the length of illness caused by COVID-19. Other potential uses are being investigated. In the future, clinical trials will be conducted to understand if convalescent plasma could be given to people who have underlying medical conditions; or to those who are at high risk for contracting COVID-19, such as family members who have been exposed. This would be especially helpful in treating cases that occur with the potential second wave of COVID-19, which can happen in many viral outbreaks.
“Participating in this study gives FMC patients with COVID-19 a new treatment opportunity,” said Dr. Andrew Dagg-Murry, FMC infectious disease physician. “This new trial will help us understand how well this treatment works so we can learn the best ways to fight this virus.”
A key need to make this clinical trial successful is the availability of convalescent plasma, which is donated by people who have recovered from coronavirus. If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19 and since fully recovered, we encourage you to consider donating convalescent plasma. Eligibility guidelines can be found at www.redcrossblood.org/plasma4covid.
Fairfield Medical Center is excited to bring this innovative treatment program – and its intended benefits – to the community.
(National Clinical Trial ID Number 04338360).