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Researchers Look To Plasma To Cure Sickest Coronavirus Patients

BOSTON (CBS) - Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute are looking at whether plasma from people who've recovered from COVID-19 can help those who are very sick.

The Evaluation of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Antibody-containing Plasma thErapy (ESCAPE) study plans to transfuse plasma from male donors with a high level of antibodies to current coronavirus patients.

Convalescent plasma, as it's called, has been used to treat viral infections for decades, but there's never been a high-quality controlled study to prove how well it works.

"The potential is huge, in terms of the benefit that patients with COVID-19, not only in Massachusetts but across the country and across the world," said Dr. Clifton Mo, an oncologist at Dana Farber Cancer Insitute. "This trial is somewhat different from the other clinical trials in the COVID-19 space right now in that the drug is not an actual drug, per se, but rather a blood donation from a person who has already recovered from COVID-19 that's given out of their own goodwill.

Female donors are not accepted due to the possibility of transfusion-related acute lung injury, a rare condition that can result from donations from women who have been previously pregnant.

Researchers are still looking for plasma donors who are 14 days without symptoms and have a negative COVID-19 test or have been symptom-free for 28 days.

To make an appointment for the study's prescreening, email or call 617-525-3533.

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