Hattiesburg Clinic Participates in COVID-19 Expanded Access Program
Hattiesburg Clinic is participating in the COVID-19 Expanded Access Program, a nationwide clinical trial led by the Mayo Clinic. This trial aims to treat patients with severe COVID-19 disease by collecting convalescent plasma therapy from recovered COVID-19 patients and providing the therapy to hospitalized patients in critical condition.
Currently, there are more than 2000 hospital sites and roughly 10,000 physicians participating in the program, according uscovidplasma.org. Hattiesburg Clinic became a partner in this program early on and was one of the first 300 to participate. The clinical trial is being led by John “Bo” Hrom, MD, Oncology Clinical Director at Forrest General and Hattiesburg Clinic. Hrom and his team of physicians have administered plasma therapy to 26 patients thus far.
To donate, the patient has to have had a formal COVID-19 diagnosis from a physician, have recovered from the virus for 14 days with no symptoms, and have a negative COVID-19 test result. If they meet the criteria, patients are able to go to a blood donation center, like Vitalant or Red Cross, and can donate up to once a week.
The major goal of the trial is to determine if the antibodies developed in a patient who has recovered from the virus will effectively treat those who are currently affected by the disease. As of right now, only patients in serious, critical condition (in the ICU) are able to receive convalescent plasma treatment. And while the study is currently in its infancy, risks associated with receiving treatment are the same as any other blood transfusion.
“We needed access to something to try to help these critically ill patients,” Hrom said. “If it’s potentially beneficial, I wanted to be able to have something to treat people in this area the same way people are being treated at the Mayo Clinic or Mount Sinai in New York. We want to be able to provide the same level of care as some of these major medical institutions.”
For those interested in participating in the Convalescent Plasma Clinic Trial, please visit www.hattiesburgclinic.com/convalescent-plasma-trial/ and fill out the information form provided. A Hattiesburg Clinic representative will contact you upon the reviewal of your application.
For more information on the COVID-19 Expanded Access Program, visit uscovidplasma.org.