Vice President, Communications
SCL Health Partners to Bring Convalescent Plasma Therapy to
COVID-19 Patients in Colorado
BROOMFIELD, COLO.— As providers in the healthcare industry continue work to develop effective treatments for the COVID-19 pandemic, SCL Health is advancing critical work with the antibody therapy known as Convalescent Plasma (CP) transfusions.
SCL Health is participating in work being mobilized by Mayo Clinic, as part of the Colorado COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Program, to advance investigational convalescent plasma therapy. The approach involves giving patients an infusion of antibody-rich plasma from people who have recovered from the virus that causes COVID-19.
“This is very exciting research and we’re honored to be a part of it.” said SCL Health’s project lead, Dr. Alan Miller, Chief Medical Director of Oncology and Associate Chief Medical Director of Clinical Research. “People are eager to help in any way they can. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in this vital research from the very point of the donor draw through to the treatment of the patient,” he concluded.
SCL Health operates hospitals and clinics across Colorado and donations are being coordinated at the regional level. In Western Colorado, plasma donations are being accepted at SCL Health’s Regional Blood Center in Grand Junction, Colorado. The Blood Center is capable of harvesting and processing convalescent plasma donations and administering the therapy to COVID-19 patients. The St. Mary’s Medical Center Foundation is providing funding to support the program.
In the Denver Metro Area, SCL Health is partnering with Vitalant blood donation centers to accept donated plasma, and donations are being collected at the Vitalant Blood Center in Lowry. Potential donors must participate in a pre-screening process, which includes proof of a positive COVID-19 test, and must have been symptom-free for at least 14 days prior to donating plasma. Once established, a second test will be administered, and if negative, then the plasma can be drawn.
Interested plasma donors are encouraged to contact SCL Health by emailing their name and contact information to email@example.com, or call 303-813-5230. A screener will contact them to establish the remaining criteria. “We are encouraging potential donors to contact us,” said Jennifer Rhamy, Director of the St. Mary’s Regional Blood Center. “We need to connect with you quickly to advance this important work.”
Both Vitalant and the St. Mary’s Regional Blood Center started to collect donor plasma on Monday, April 13, 2020. Use of convalescent plasma has been studied in outbreaks of other respiratory infections, including the 2003 SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic, and the 2012 MERS-CoV epidemic.
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About SCL Health:
SCL Health is a faith-based, nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to improving the health of the people and communities we serve, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. Founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth in 1864, our $2.6 billion health network provides comprehensive, coordinated care through eight hospitals, more than 100 physician clinics, and home health, hospice, mental health and safety-net services primarily in Colorado and Montana. We relentlessly focus on delivering safe, high-quality, effective care to every patient, every time, everywhere. In 2018, SCL Health invested $242 million in community benefit—9 cents of every dollar we earn—to support health improvement in our communities.