Blood Bank of Hawaii (BBH) has convened a coalition to implement a statewide COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) program to treat severely ill patients, hospitalized with the coronavirus. Coalition members include The Queen’s Health Systems, Hawaii Pacific Health, Kaiser Permanente, the state Department of Health, University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) and other clinical laboratories.
CCP is taken from a person who has recovered from COVID-19. Convalescent plasma has traditionally been used as an early treatment for many infectious diseases. It’s an experimental treatment being administered in clinical trials authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Hawaii CCP coalition members are participating in the national Expanded Access Protocol (EAP) sponsored by the Mayo Clinic. BBH’s role is to make this treatment readily available to hospitalized COVID-19 patients who are at the greatest risk. The national clinical trial provides BBH and hospitals an FDA-approved pathway to collect, distribute and administer CCP, which is considered an investigative new drug.
Eligible CCP donors must have tested positive for COVID-19 with laboratory-confirmed documentation and be symptom free for 28 days. They must also meet standard plasma donor eligibility requirements. There is no additional risk to the donor, blood bank staff or the general public as they are fully recovered. Pre-qualified CCP donors will donate using the same apheresis technology as other plasma donors, but collections will only be handled at the Blood Bank of Hawaii’s newly reopened Dillingham Donor Center due to additional protocols and staff requirements. Once collected, plasma can be frozen and stored for up to one year prior to use.
At this time, only donors who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 are eligible to participate in this program. BBH does not test blood donors for COVID-19. If you think you may have COVID-19 and want to be tested, please contact your medical provider.