Intermountain Healthcare asks recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma

Aug 24, 2020, 4:57 PM
Intermountain Healthcare is looking for people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma. Plasma infusions have been credited with helping other patients beat the virus, but doctors worry about shortages. (Photo: Intermountain Healthcare).
(Photo: Intermountain Healthcare)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is allowing more COVID-19 patients to receive plasma infusions from people who have recovered from the virus. And while doctors at Intermountain Healthcare are excited for the possibilities, they are also worried about shortages.

Request to donate plasma

That’s why they are asking people who have kicked COVID-19 to donate plasma. 

Intermountain Healthcare has been using plasma infusions for months now as part of a limited clinical trial with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. 

During a news conference on Monday, Dr. Daanish Hoda said there are already shortages of plasma with COVID-19 antibodies. 

“Now with the Emergency Use Authorization [from the FDA],” Hoda said, “we expect that those numbers will go up quite exponentially given that any patient at any hospital can get it without having to go through the extra work.” 

Dr. Brandon Webb said Intermountain Healthcare has been able to treat 500 patients with plasma containing COVID-19 antibodies. 

The higher the antibody count in the plasma, it seems, the better the patient does. However, he still urged recovered COVID-19 patients to donate. 

“That actually highlights the importance of having as many people get out and donate as possible. Because the larger the pool, the larger the possible pool to learn from becomes,” Webb said. 

Doctors also won’t know if someone has the needed amount of antibodies in their plasma until they donate and it’s tested. 

The Red Cross and other local organizations have openings for people to donate their plasma.   


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirusis transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

UtahState Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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Intermountain Healthcare asks recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma