Inova Health Systems has put out a request for plasma donations from people who have recovered from COVID-19 for a research study.
Plasma—the liquid part of blood that carries nutrients and other blood components throughout the body—is a colorless fluid that contains part of the body’s immune protection mechanism. The study will use that plasma to help patients currently sick with COVID-19.
“The antibodies—the protection that your body makes to fight off the COVID-19 virus—live in your plasma, so your plasma should be rich with those antibodies,” explained Terri Craddock, Senior Director of Blood Services for Inova Health System. “So if you transfuse that plasma to someone who is really sick … it should in theory help them fight off COVID-19.”
Craddock said that while doctors are still learning about COVID-19, the technique is one that has been used to fight other viruses.
To qualify, potential donors must be 18 or older, not pregnant, meet all other standard criteria for blood donations, be recovered and symptom-free for 14 days, and have documentation of positive test results for COVID-19, also known as SARS-CoV-2. Blood donation eligibility criteria are at inovablood.org/eligibility.
If you meet those standards, you will be scheduled for a screening visit at the Clinical Trial Unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital, which includes an interview, exam and COVID-19 PCR test to make sure you have fully recovered.
If that step goes well, a plasma donation will be scheduled at your choice of locations in Centreville, Sterling or Annandale. You may be eligible to donate up to every 28 days.
To sign up, email COVID19Plasma@inova.org or call 703-776-4899.