BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Doctors are hopeful the plasma of recovered COVID patients may be an important tool in the pandemic fight.

Convalescent plasma therapy relies on antibodies taken from recovered COVID-19 patients and infused into sick patients hoping to give them a boost to their immune system.

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“One of the things people are concerned about is when you give people plasma is the potential to either overload the circulation or damage the lungs and that’s not happening in our study,” Dr. Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic said.

CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE:

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BioLife Plasma Services opened a new plasma donation center this weekend on Baltimore National Pike in Baltimore County.

John Boyle of the Immune Deficiency Foundation joined the call for plasma donation as he and others with primary immune deficiencies have been impacted by a decline in donations during the pandemic.

“There are no vaccines just yet. There are no other therapies. Convalescent plasma and these anti-COVID antibodies are, at the moment, one of the only ways someone who is fighting off a COVID-19 infection can potentially get some respite,” Boyle said. “We tend to look at it as a ‘rising tides lift all boats’ situation where people who are donating for the purposes of convalescent plasma because they’ve had COVID, hey, that’s great. All of a sudden, they’re introduced to this plasma donation center.”

For adults who have recovered from coronavirus, the Red Cross has resources available to donate plasma. Go to redcrossblood.org or call (800) RED-CROSS.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Paul Gessler