coronavirus treatment

Plasma Treatment Being Tested in New York May Be Coronavirus ‘Gamechanger’

One of the first recovered patients to donate his blood plasma said he feels "blessed" he is now healthy and can volunteer his antibodies to help others

people donate blood at Bloodworks Northwest in Seattle
Karen Ducey/Getty Images

As patients with COVID-19 continue pouring into emergency departments and intensive care units across the nation, an old treatment that has been adapted for a new disease is now being tested in New York, NBC News reports.

In the past few days, the Mount Sinai Hospital System has injected more than 20 very sick coronavirus patients with a "convalescent serum" based on the blood plasma of individuals who have already recovered from the disease.

"We have so many patients who are sick," said Dr. Jeffrey Jhang, the medical director of clinical laboratories and transfusion services for the Mount Sinai Health System in New York. "We are crossing our fingers that this will be a gamechanger and really accelerate the recovery of these patients."

As first reported in a series of stories by NBCNews.com, Dr. Arturo Casadevall at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore has spearheaded this nationwide effort to develop a plasma treatment for coronavirus.

The National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project is a consortium of more than 40 of the nation's top health institutions across 22 states looking to collect blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to assist in treating those currently ill with the disease or perhaps prevent others, like front-line medical workers, from getting the virus at all.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com.

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