May 04, 2020
HCA Houston Healthcare hospitals currently seeking plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 individuals to potentially help critically ill patients
HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division, of which HCA Houston Healthcare is a part of, announced today that it is participating in a national study to determine if plasma from convalescent, or recovered, COVID-19 patients may benefit individuals currently hospitalized with severe or life-threatening cases of the virus. As part of the effort, the following hospitals are seeking eligible volunteers to donate plasma to help current patients in need.
“We are proud to take part in this important study. We are asking for the help of our community to spread awareness about plasma donation for patients facing COVID-19 not only in Houston, South Texas and Corpus Christi, but also around the world,” says Mujtaba Ali-Khan, Chief Medical Officer at HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division.
As part of the effort, the following HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division Hospitals are participating in this study.
- HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake
- HCA Houston Healthcare Conroe
- HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood
- HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast
- HCA Houston Healthcare West
- HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball
- HCA Houston Healthcare North Cypress
- HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest
- HCA Houston Healthcare Mainland
- HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center
- Corpus Christi Medical Center
- Rio Grande Regional Hospital
- Valley Regional Medical Center
To date, there is no proven therapy for individuals who are diagnosed with COVID-19, but there is a long history of successful viral infection treatment using convalescent plasma. After someone is infected with a virus like COVID-19 and recovers, their blood contains antibodies that their immune system produced to help them fight off the virus. By infusing this plasma into patients who are facing severe cases of COVID-19, their immune system might more effectively be able to fight the virus. Recent examples of this approach have occurred during outbreaks of coronaviruses like SARS-1, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), but additional clinical data – and more plasma donations – are needed to determine efficacy in treating COVID-19.
“This trial is just the first step, but hopefully it will help us determine if plasma transfusions can be a treatment for critically ill patients with COVID-19,” said Carlos Araujo-Preza, MD, critical care medical director at HCA Houston Healthcare Tomball who administers the trial at the hospital. Last week, Dr. Araujo-Preza safely discharged his first patient that received the convalescent plasma transfusion and they are recovering at home.
The success of the study hinges on the continued collection of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. People who tested positive for COVID-19 and have since tested negative can help by donating plasma through the American Red Cross or another local donation center. To find out more about the donation process, eligibility and locations to donate in Houston, Brownsville, McAllen and Corpus Christi please call our dedicated COVID-19 Plasma Phone Line at (833) 582-1971 or visit the HCA Healthcare website.
HCA Healthcare Gulf Coast Division hospitals are part of a network of 172 hospitals participating from the HCA Healthcare network. HCA Healthcare, along with its Sarah Cannon Research Institute, is leveraging its clinical research capabilities and national hospital network to quickly expand collection and testing for this study, which is being led by the Mayo Clinic and supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This is one of several research initiatives involving COVID-19 in which HCA Healthcare and Sarah Cannon are participating.
About HCA Healthcare's Gulf Coast Division
HCA Houston Healthcare is part of HCA Healthcare’s Gulf Coast Division, a comprehensive network of hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, emergency centers and diagnostic imaging facilities in greater Houston, Corpus Christi and South Texas. Facilities in the Gulf Coast Division include: 16 hospitals, 10 ambulatory care centers, 16 off-campus emergency centers, and a regional transfer center that provides on-phone-call access and support for patient transfers into and out of the HCA Gulf Coast Division hospitals as well as access to ground and air transportation within a 150-mile radius. HCA Gulf Coast Division is part of HCA Healthcare, the nation’s leading provider of quality healthcare services with 185 hospitals in the United States and England.