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Indiana lab helping physicians treat COVID-19 patients

Convalescent plasma collections underway in South Bend

The South Bend Medical Foundation began collecting convalescent plasma donations April 17, to help COVID-19 treatment efforts.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an emergency Investigational New Drug Application (IND) process to allow individual physicians to treat patients with serious COVID-19 disease with convalescent plasma collected by a blood center.

“People who’ve recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies to the disease in their blood. Medical professionals call this convalescent plasma, and it’s a promising treatment option physicians are using to help severely ill patients recover from the virus,” explained Dr. Joyce Simpson, South Bend Medical Foundation President. “We’re happy to join the fight against COVID-19 and are working closely with local hospitals to provide them what they need.”

In coordination with Saint Joseph Health System, Beacon Health System and the St. Joseph County Health Department, the South Bend Medical Foundation is working to identify and recruit potential donors who are fully recovered from the coronavirus to sign up to donate plasma to help current COVID-19 patients.

In addition to regular blood donation eligibility requirements, convalescent plasma donor requirements include the following:

  • Donors must have a prior, confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 (from a nasal swab)
  • Be fully recovered and symptom free for at least 28 days

Fully recovered COVID-19 patients are encouraged to schedule a plasma donation now by calling 574-204-4243.

The foundation has established a dedicated donation site for convalescent plasma at their central lab located in downtown South Bend. Authorized staff will be available to answer questions and screen potential donors as well.

The South Bend Medical Foundation Blood Bank is regulated by the FDA and follows thorough protocols to ensure donor safety, as well as staying on top of and following all precautions and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Indiana State Department of Health and St. Joseph County Health Department to protect donors.

About South Bend Medical Foundation

The South Bend Medical Foundation has provided blood to the community since 1951 and is the primary supplier of blood products to Memorial Hospital, Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center and Elkhart General Hospital and other hospitals in the state of Indiana.

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