RWJBarnabas Health is seeking convalescent plasma donations from former patients and others who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for its convalescent plasma program.
The blood plasma collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19 is used in the treatment of patients currently infected with the virus. The convalescent plasma is transfused into patients who match the stringent criteria and who have serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.
All RWJBarnabas Health acute care hospitals are participating in the Mayo Clinic’s clinical trial, as well as selected patients who will be in the individual experimental arm, on the use of convalescent plasma for treatment of COVID-19 patients. The hospitals do not collect convalescent plasma. The plasma is obtained from the blood banks with which RWJBarnabas Health has contracts – the American Red Cross and the New York Blood Center – where the convalescent plasma is collected. Patients who have recovered at RWJBarnabas Health facilities are being notified of this collection process. Requests that donations be directed to a specific patient are not being accepted at this time.
On March 25, the Food and Drug Administration authorized compassionate use of convalescent plasma for patients infected with the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. The effectiveness of such treatments has not yet been proven in treating COVID-19 and the convalescent plasma therapy remains an experimental procedure. The limiting factors to this procedure include the amount of product available due to low levels of antibodies, the need to match convalescent plasma to a patient’s blood type — the same as any blood product — and the two-week wait the donor must be negative after recovering from COVID-19.
The American Red Cross and the New York Blood center, in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), ares looking for volunteers of fully recovered COVID-19 patients to sign up to donate plasma to help current patients. If you or someone you know has recovered from COVID-19 and would like to consider becoming a donor or would like to learn more, please visit: https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/plasma-donations-from-recovered-covid-19-patients.html or nybc.org/covidplasma .
ABOUT RWJBarnabas Health
RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most comprehensive academic health care system in New Jersey, with a service area covering nine counties with five million people. The system includes eleven acute care hospitals, three acute care children’s hospitals and a leading pediatric rehabilitation hospital with a network of outpatient centers (Children’s Specialized Hospital) with its multiple outpatient centers, a freestanding 100-bed behavioral health center, two trauma centers, a satellite emergency department, ambulatory care centers, geriatric centers, the state’s largest behavioral health network, comprehensive home care and hospice programs, fitness and wellness centers, retail pharmacy services, a large medical group, multi-site imaging centers and an accountable care organization.
RWJBarnabas Health is New Jersey’s largest private employer – with more than 33,000 employees, 9,000 physicians and 1,000 residents and interns. RWJBarnabas Health has forged a partnership with Rutgers University to create New Jersey’s largest academic health care system. The collaboration aligns RWJBarnabas Health with Rutgers’ education, research and clinical activities, including those at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey – the state’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center – and Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care.