Roper update: First COVID-19 patient treated with convalescent plasma

Coronavirus

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – On Tuesday, Roper Hospital completed its first convalescent plasma transfusion in a COVID-19 patient.

The patient received plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient, which is believed to be rich in virus-fighting antibodies. Doctors hope to see an improvement in the patient over the next few days.

Dr. George Geils Jr., a hematologist/oncologist at Roper, explained it as “giving someone passive immunity; they don’t have innate immunity but hopefully by providing the antibody, they can more rapidly clear the virus and not suffer as many consequences.”

Geils said that patients who are hospitalized and require oxygen are considered eligible candidates. To benefit from the transfusion, it must be done early while the virus is still replicating.

Roper reports no adverse effects in the patient so far.

The study is part of a national trial of over 3,000 patients being overseen by the Mayo Clinic.

Roper is planning to treat a second patient with convalescent plasma as well.

Roper reports two additional COVID-19 cases, bringing their total number of patients to 198. There are currently six inpatient cases and three patients being cared for by Roper’s Home Health Team.

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