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Sierra View Medical Center joins Mayo Clinic’s Study to help COVID-19 Patients

SVMC joined the Mayo Clinic study in May of 2020 and to this day, more than 30 COVID-19 patients at Sierra View have received blood plasma, rich with antibodies to fight the virus, donated by those who have recovered from the disease.

With so many unknowns about the virus that was having a detrimental effect nationwide and on SVMC’s own patient population, having access to treatment options was few and far in between. One option was Convalescent Plasma (CP).

With the support from the ICU intensivist team, leaders of the department, ICU Charge Nurse, Andrew Nunez who invested time in researching the Convalescent Plasma opportunity with the Mayo Clinic, was determined to enroll the hospital in the Mayo Clinic study.

“Convalescent plasma is FDA approved but is considered experimental treatment so enrolling our hospital would need to be a house wide decision,” said SVMC ICU Charge Nurse, Andrew Nunez. “Our SVMC leadership team was 100% on board so I started the application process right away.”

After organizing a partnership with the Central California Blood Blank to receive blood plasma and enrolling in the study, SVMC was able to begin utilizing blood plasma to help speed up the process of recovery for COVID-19 patients.

Initially plasma was only given to ICU patients, but it wasn’t long until other areas of the hospital with COVID-19 positive patients. Because the FDA approved CP for emergency use, it is only given to patients who are moderately to severely ill with COVID-19. The patient must meet certain requirements to receive plasma. These requirements include: requiring high amounts of oxygen, being on a ventilator, or having low oxygen levels.

“Less patients are dying since we started giving plasma,” said Andrew. “This could be due to concurrent treatment with Remdesivir and Corticosteroids or it might just be a better understanding of the disease pathophysiology.”

“In medicine, we are constantly updating our treatment plans based on new medical evidence and approved treatments. It’s hard to say if it was just plasma or a combination of plasma and the excellent care provided by the interdisciplinary team from nurses to respiratory therapists, to physicians,” Andrew added. “I will say that the first few patients to be discharged from the hospital after being in the ICU on a ventilator for multiple days received CP.”

SVMC’s mission is to provide high quality care to all patients and the community. Enrolling in programs that bring a wider range of treatment options to patients such as Convalescent Plasma, highlights our continued support for our community. To learn more about the study, visit uscovidplasma.org