RRMC Joins Plasma Study for COVID-19 Patients

ALEXANDRIA, La., May 18, 2020 – Rapides Regional Medical Center is participating in a national study to find out if plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients may benefit those currently hospitalized with severe cases of the virus.

As part of the study, RRMC is looking for eligible volunteers from Central Louisiana to donate plasma to help patients in need.

“We are proud to take part in this important study,” said Kim Middleton, MLS(ASCP)cm, Laboratory Administrative Director. “We are asking for those in our community to spread the word about plasma donations for patients facing COVID-19, not just here in Pineville and Alexandria, but throughout the world.”

Patients can be eligible to donate if they are fully recovered from COVID-19 with a documented laboratory test and complete resolution of all COVID-19 symptoms at least 14 days prior to donation and meet blood donation criteria.

“We have partnered with LifeShare Blood Centers to collect plasma for this study,” Middleton said.

One plasma donation results in four plasma units. Two of those units are earmarked for RRMC COVID-19 patients, should their physicians order plasma therapy. The other two units are distributed through LifeShare to facilities within their service area.

“Not every COVID-19 patient will receive plasma for this study,” Middleton said. “Plasma is only given based on clinical need and physician order.”

To date, there is no proven therapy for individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, but there is a long history of successful viral infection treatment using convalescent plasma. Typically, when someone is infected with a virus like COVID-19, and recovers, their blood contains antibodies. By infusing this plasma into patients facing severe cases of COVD-19, their immune system might more effectively be able to fight the virus.

“The success of the study, which is happening nation-wide, depends on the collection of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients,” Middleton said. “This is one way our community can join together to help other Cenla residents and make an impact in COVID-related therapies in the future.”

To find out if you qualify for plasma donations under this study, please visit http://www.lifeshare.org/faqs.