Baptist Health Partners with Mayo Clinic to Launch Clinical Trial Expanding Convalescent Plasma Therapy for COVID-19 Patients

Plasma Therapy Sheds New Hope for Recovery from COVID-19

SOTS/Video Link: https://vimeo.com/415182863

 

MIAMI – May 5, 2020 – Mayo Clinic, one of the largest nonprofit academic health systems in the U.S., and Baptist Health South Florida, announced today they will be joining forces on a clinical trial focused on increasing convalescent plasma (CP) therapy for COVID-19 patients.

Before this partnership, Baptist Health had taken a leading role as one of the first health institutions in Florida to use this therapy and working to approve and treat more than 60 critically-ill patients across its health system with CP. Now, as part of the Mayo Clinic trial, a streamlined U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process will allow Baptist Health to monitor and treat more COVID-19 patients, possibly including non-critical ones, before they need a ventilator or Intensive Care Unit (ICU) attention.

This large multi-center clinical trial also increases the potential for the data collected to show clinical benefits, as measurable benefits can best be seen when large amounts of patients are treated.

Studies have shown that CP therapy can boost the ability of people to fight the virus through the powerful antibodies built up in the plasma of recovered COVID-19 patients.

“As one of the first healthcare providers in Florida to treat COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma therapy, we are committed to finding innovative ways to help those infected,” said Lincoln Mendez, CEO of Boca Regional Hospital, part of Baptist Health. Mendez is leading Baptist Health’s system-wide task force on plasma therapy. “By partnering with Mayo Clinic, we have the tools to possibly treat non-critical patients with plasma in earlier stages of the virus as well, preventing those with more moderate cases from having to be admitted into the ICU, which can save more lives and reduce the burden on our healthcare staff.”

“With limited options available to treat COVID-19, we pushed to pursue treatments like convalescent plasma therapy and are encouraged by its potential to save lives,” said Dr. Samer Fahmy, MD, FACP, Vice President of Quality and Informatics at Boca Regional Hospital. “Joining a world-renowned health organization like Mayo Clinic allows us to benefit from a more efficient, streamlined FDA approval process which can help us screen and treat not just advanced cases, but earlier stage cases as well, helping more patients recover with fewer hurdles.”

The FDA encourages those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate CP in their blood to give infected people a better chance of recovery. According to the FDA, donors must meet certain requirements and donated blood must also be tested for safety before use. If you have recovered from COVID-19 and are interested in donating plasma, call 1-833-MYBAPTIST.

 

About Baptist Health South Florida

Baptist Health South Florida is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit BaptistHealth.net/Newsroom and connect with us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and LinkedIn.

# # #