LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — UCLA is part of a new national study to determine if the plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients could be used to create treatments for the disease.
Michelle Simonne will soon join thousands across the country who survived the virus and are donating their plasma to try to treat critically ill patients.
“For me, it’s such a gift to be able to do something about this,” the 51-year-old said. “My antibodies and my plasma could actually fight off the infection or stop it in its tracks.
The treatment relies on antibodies taken from patients who have recovered from coronavirus, and it gives a massive boost to the immune systems of infected patients. Recently, five COVID-19 patients in China recovered from undergoing this treatment.
“Patients have been taken off mechanical ventilation and even been discharged” after treatment using plasma, said UCLA pathologist Dr. Alyssa Ziman. “We’re excited.”
There is no proven treatment for COVID-19 yet.
“If we can collect plasma from people who have recovered and use that to treat patients, that would be a wonderful achievement,” Ziman said.
More than 800 acute care facilities across the United States are participating in the trial, which has been approved by the FDA. At UCLA, over 800 patients are involved.
“It’s just a small way that I can help on the front lines without actually being there,” Simonne said.