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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Office of Communications & Marketing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 15 2020
CONTACT:
John Gillespie | john.gillespie@downstate.edu | Mobile: 314-708-9090

SUNY Downstate Joins Mayo Clinic Convalescent Plasma Trial for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

Blood Donations Are Needed from Recovered COVID-19 Patients

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (March 30, 2020)SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, a dedicated COVID-19 facility, is participating in a national project using convalescent plasma for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. SUNY Downstate is seeking blood donations from people who have recovered from COVID-19 in order to produce the plasma that will be given to patients. Potential donors must have evidence of previous COVID-19 infection with either a nasopharyngeal swab at the time of illness or a positive serologic test for antibodies to SARs-COV2, and they must be symptom-free for 14 days and seen by a health care provider.

The Mayo Clinic is the lead institution coordinating the trial. This national effort will collect plasma from donors who meet the criteria established by the Food and Drug Administration. There are currently no vaccines or proven treatments for COVID-19.

This treatment is based on the function of antibodies created by the immune system to fight infection. Some of these antibodies are capable of fighting viruses, while others fight off other diseases.

“The use of plasma to help patients fight disease began before the turn of the century, and was widely used prior to the development of antibiotics in the 1940’s,” said Dr. Michael Augenbraun, Chief of Infectious Diseases at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University.  “We don’t yet know how COVID-19 antibodies might work in helping patients recover, but it is believed an infusion of convalescent plasma may improve their ability to fight the disease until their own immune system is strong enough to take over.”

People who have recovered from COVID-19 who are interested in making a potentially life-saving blood donation for convalescent plasma may email:

Maxine Easy – Study Coordinator
Convalescent Plasma for the Treatment of Patients with COVID-19
Maxine.Easy@Downstate.edu

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About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough’s only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care, and is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City, and Brooklyn’s 2.6 million residents. University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) is Downstate’s teaching hospital, backed by the expertise of an outstanding medical school and the research facilities of a world-class academic center. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

A regional center for cardiac care, neonatal and high-risk infant services, pediatric dialysis, and transplantation, Downstate also houses a major learning center for children with physical ailments or neurological disorders. In addition to UHB, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit www.downstate.edu or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.