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Plasma Therapy Shows 'Promising' Early Results for Peoria COVID-19 Patients

Convalescent plasma therapy is showing some early signs of success as a COVID-19 treatment. <--break->

Dr. Teresa Lynch is interim department chair of internal medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria and a hospitalist at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. She said outcomes from convalescent plasma therapy are "promising."

"We've seen patients get extubated or get taken off the breathing machines. And then one of the more promising things is we've seen clearance of the virus from the blood," she said. "Before we could detect the virus in the blood. The virus has become undetectable. And also seeing antibodies to the virus in the blood of patients who were treated." <--break->

The therapy uses donated plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients and transfuses it into patients currently suffering from the virus, in hopes antibodies in the plasma help the patient fight off the illness. <--break->

About a dozen Peoria-area patients have undergone convalescent plasma therapy.

Lynch is asking recovered COVID-19 patients to consider plasma donation. To qualify for donation, a positive COVID-19 patient must be asymptomatic for 28 days. One donor's plasma can treat up to three patients.

Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center and the American Red Cross are working in conjunction with the Mayo Clinic to collect donor plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients for the treatment. <--break->

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Dr. Teresa Lynch of UICOMP speaks to media on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio /
Dr. Teresa Lynch of UICOMP speaks to media on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.

Tim Shelley is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.