For Immediate Release
Director of Corporate Communications
Virginia Hospital Center
Program Explores Potential Treatment for Patients with Severe or Life-Threatening COVID-19
Arlington, VA: April 10, 2020 –Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, is proud to be an official partner site for the Mayo Clinic’s investigational convalescent plasma program. The program explores the use of convalescent plasma as a potential treatment for hospitalized patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19, or those at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease.
“Virginia Hospital Center is always at the forefront when it comes to innovative methods that protect the safety of our patients, staff and community,” said Jeffrey DiLisi, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Virginia Hospital Center. “Increasing our understanding of potential treatments for this novel coronavirus is a critical next step in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Convalescent plasma refers to blood plasma collected from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. That plasma is then used to treat other hospitalized patients with advanced illness. The plasma donor must have recovered from, and then tested negative for, COVID-19 and be otherwise healthy. The patient is transfused with the donor’s plasma, which contains antibodies that can attack the virus and may help patients recover more rapidly.
The convalescent plasma program at Mayo Clinic, led by researcher Michael Joyner, MD, grew from a national initiative of physicians and investigators from 40 institutions who self-organized to investigate the use of convalescent plasma during the COVID-19 pandemic.
VHC began enrolling patients and interested, eligible donors into the program earlier this week.