Currently there is no proven effective, safe treatment for COVID-19. However, if you had the virus and recovered, you may be able to save lives by helping others fight the novel disease.
People who have recovered from COVID-19 have plasma that contains antibodies against the virus. (Plasma is the liquid part of blood, and antibodies are proteins that your immune system produces to fight infections.) Medical institutions are pursuing plasma transfusions as an investigational treatment, in accordance with FDA regulations (don’t try ANYTHING at home).
This treatment may sound like something from a sci-fi film, but plasma transfusions are a historic therapy for viral infections, dating back to a time before widespread developed vaccines. According to the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis:
During the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, doctors were faced with a deadly illness and no specific treatments. Recognizing that people who had recovered were immune to the infection, some doctors tried treating their patients with blood serum from recovered flu patients. In many cases it worked.
The technique fell out of favor, compared to vaccines. But now, given there is not yet a vaccine for COVID-19, the approach could save lives.
New York Blood Center is asking all eligible donors to come forward and make plasma available for as many New Yorkers as possible. The plasma is donated to hospitals to treat seriously ill, life-threatened patients. You are eligible if:
1. You have a lab-confirmed positive test for COVID-19
2. Your symptoms have been gone for at least 14 days
To sign up, fill out this form with your contact information and medical documentation. Be assured, your information will be kept confidential and only used for this donation process.
To fully nerd out on antibody research, check out this interview with medical experts at Mother Jones.