As COVID-19 cases surge once again throughout the state, SBC is seeing a spike in demand for COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP), which is donated from recovered COVID-19 patients due to the SARS-CoV-2 antibodies it contains. CCP is being transfused into hospitalized COVID-19 patients to aid in their recovery, and though this treatment option is still considered investigational, early reports, namely from the FDA and Mayo Clinic, have shown promise that CCP is not only safe for COVID-19 patients, but also that it may lead to a decrease in patient mortality rate.
SBC has been collecting CCP from generous community donors since the first week of April and, in that time, we have sent out around 300 units (pints) from close to 100 donors. Currently over 90% of our CCP units have gone to support patients within California, with a large amount being sent to COVID-19 hot spots within the state, such as the Central Valley. We also continue to support patients out of state, including with a shipment of eight units to Florida this week.
Overall in the United States, over 31,000 units have been transfused through a national expanded access protocol, which allows patients to receive this investigational product. Though most of the patients in the U.S. receiving CCP are hospitalized with severe disease, there are many clinical trials that are currently enrolling patients at all stages of illness. One such trial set to begin soon at Stanford University will investigate the role of CCP in preventing severe disease when given to outpatients with mild symptoms. SBC is proud to be supporting CCP transfusion and research into this new treatment, which you can read more about in next month’s summer edition of PULSE magazine.
With the surge of COVID-19 infection around the country and the growing demand for CCP, we strongly encourage anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 to visit our website and submit their information on our intake form there for follow-up. If you’ve beat COVID-19, you could hold the key to saving the lives of others still in the midst of the battle.
For more information on SBC’s CCP program, visit stanfordbloodcenter.org/covid19plasma. To read about the inspiring journey of some of our generous CCP donors, check out Joe’s story, Rick’s story and Steve’s story on our blog.