COVID-19 UpdatesHCN News & Notes

First Trinity Health Patient Receives Blood-plasma Therapy as Part of Clinical Trial

HARTFORD, Conn. — On Wednesday, Trinity Health Of New England administered donated blood plasma to the first COVID-19 patient in its newly launched clinical trial.

The regional health system began collecting the convalescent plasma from donors this week. The donors are made up of members of the community who are recovering from COVID-19, including three local business leaders: Kurt Barwis, president and CEO of Bristol Health; G. Duncan Harris, CEO of Capital Community College; and Harold Sparrow, CEO and president of Greater Hartford YMCA.

“The generosity of Mr. Barwis, Dr. Harris, and Mr. Sparrow, as well as all the community members stepping forward to help, is moving,” said Dr. Reginald Eadie, president and CEO of Trinity Health Of New England. “Donors are a critical component to this clinical trial and to getting one step closer to healing some of the most critically ill COVID-19 patients. While there are currently there are no vaccines and or proven therapies to fight this disease, this study allows us to tap into a treatment method that has the promise to be lifesaving.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Trinity Health Of New England’s clinical trial, which allows the healthcare organization to conduct a study to test a therapy for COVID-19 that uses plasma from recovering patients. The study will test the effectiveness of the antibodies within the plasma on patients with COVID-19 who are critically ill and on ventilator support. Trinity Health Of New England is one of four healthcare systems, including Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic, that received FDA approval for this clinical trial.

The interventional study evaluates the safety and efficacy of using convalescent plasma transfusion to critically ill patients with COVID-19. One study from China reported in the Journal of American Medicine showed that five critically ill COVID-19 patients on ventilators significantly improved after treatment with convalescent plasma. Eventually, three of those patients were discharged home.

Trinity Health Of New England is continuing to accept volunteers who are willing to donate blood plasma. Qualified candidates include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and have fully recovered from the disease.

For more information about how to donate, contact the COVID-19 plasma research team at (860) 714-7129 weekdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Click here to take the COVID-19 plasma research questionnaire.