Ascension Providence offers plasma therapy to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients

Posted at 9:40 AM, May 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-04 10:40:24-04

Ascension Providence, in conjunction with Carter BloodCare, is offering plasma therapy as part of an investigational treatment for very sick hospitalized patients currently battling COVID-19.

In order to provide the treatment, the health system is asking for plasma donations from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and meet certain additional criteria.

“People who successfully recover from COVID-19 now have antibodies to the virus in their plasma, which is a component of blood,” said Larry W. Cartmell Jr., MD, Medical Director of Laboratory, Ascension Providence. “In this experimental treatment, doctors transfuse this plasma with the antibodies, also called convalescent plasma, into a person still fighting the virus. Early studies have shown this method could improve a patient’s immune system and potentially help them get better.”

Donors must meet the standard required screening criteria for blood donation in addition to both of the following criteria from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

  • Prior diagnosis of COVID-19 that is documented by an FDA-approved laboratory test
  • Complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days before donation and a documented FDA-approved negative COVID-19 test or complete resolution of symptoms at least 28 days before

Patients who have not had symptoms for 14-28 days and would like to donate will need to be tested again to ensure they are now negative for COVID-19.
This confirmatory testing is free and can be done at the Ascension Medical Group Lacy Lakeview Clinic located at 1130 North Loop 340, Lacy Lakeview, TX 76705.

Patients interested in providing assistance can contact Ascension Providence at 254-537-6850 for more information.

All proper safety precautions are taken before, during and after testing. Donors’ blood will be collected at Carter BloodCare's Woodway facility at 206 Archway Dr Woodway, TX 76712 near Texas Central Parkway and Highway 84.

Ascension Providence continues to work in partnership with local, state and national health officials including the Mayo Clinic, Waco-McLennan County Public Health District and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.