April 27, 2020
West Valley Medical Center is participating in a national study to determine if plasma from convalescent, or recovered, COVID-19 patients may benefit individuals currently hospitalized with severe or life-threatening cases of the virus. As part of the effort, West Valley is encouraging eligible volunteers from Idaho to donate plasma to help current patients in need.
"I am very excited that through HCA Healthcare our hospital is now participating in a COVID-19 treatment trial. We are asking for the help of our community to spread awareness about plasma donation for patients facing COVID-19 not only here in Idaho, but across the country," says Betsy Hunsicker, West Valley Medical Center Chief Executive Officer.
To date, there is no proven therapy for individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19, but there is a long history of successful viral infection treatment using convalescent plasma. After someone is infected with a virus like COVID-19 and recovers, their blood contains antibodies that their immune system produced to help them fight off the virus. By infusing this plasma into patients who are facing severe cases of COVID-19, their immune system might more effectively be able to fight the virus. Recent examples of this approach have occurred during outbreaks of coronaviruses like SARS-1 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Additional clinical data - and more plasma donations - are needed to determine efficacy in treating COVID-19.
The success of the study hinges on the continued collection of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. Learn more about where you can donate or call the American Red Cross Donation Center in Boise at 1(800) 733-2767.
West Valley Medical Center is one of 172 hospitals participating from the HCA Healthcare network. HCA Healthcare, along with its Sarah Cannon Research Institute, is leveraging its clinical research capabilities and national hospital network to quickly expand collection and testing for this study, which is being led by the Mayo Clinic and supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is one of several research initiatives involving COVID-19 in which HCA Healthcare and Sarah Cannon are participating.