St. Luke’s Phillipsburg patient off ventilator after experimental COVID-19 plasma trial
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A COVID-19 patient at St. Luke’s Hospital in Phillipsburg was taken off a ventilator following an experimental blood plasma treatment.

Convalescent plasma, in this case plasma from survivors of COVID-19, is being used to treat seriously ill coronavirus patients. St. Luke’s University Health Network is participating in the convalescent plasma trials as part of a program overseen by the Mayo Clinic.

"It exemplifies the importance of ingenuity and perseverance to support the heroic, life-saving work of our physicians, nurses and other caregivers.” St. Luke’s Warren Campus President Scott R. Wolfe said.

St. Luke’s did not say where the patient was from, or how long they have been hospitalized at the Warren County location.

“Because of the lack of proven treatments for this life-threatening infection, novel approaches are needed," St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Section Chief Dr. Peter Ender said in a news release.

The Lehigh Valley’s Miller-Keystone Blood Center is collecting plasma, the liquid component of blood, from people who have recovered from COVID-19 for convalescent plasma programs. Miller-Keystone is the blood provider for 29 hospitals in eastern Pennsylvania, including the Lehigh Valley, and western New Jersey.

The actual donation process is the same as for a whole blood or automated plasma donation.

Potential donors must be symptom-free of the coronavirus for 28 days or more, and all requirements for blood donation must be met.

Coronavirus survivors interested in donating to the convalescent plasma program should go to GIVEaPINT.org/covid-plasma or they can contact contact Liz Nivar at St. Luke’s Pulmonary and Critical Care Associates at 484-503-0350.

More information can be found at covidplasma.org/.