Published on April 20, 2020

MidMichigan Joins Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Treatment Research Program

MidMichigan Health has joined a Mayo Clinic research program that will use convalescent plasma donated by recovered COVID-19 patients to treat hospitalized patients fighting the virus. The plasma study will be offered at more than 100 hospitals nationwide including MidMichigan Medical Centers in Gratiot and Midland.

Pulmonologist and Critical Care Medicine providers John Blamoun, M.D., and Mark Jacob, M.D., are local investigators engaged in bringing this opportunity to MidMichigan communities.

“We are honored to collaborate with Mayo Clinic experts to help identify a treatment that could accelerate the recovery of hospitalized patients with COVID-19,” said Dr. Blamoun. “Plasma treatment has been successfully used to treat other infectious diseases, such as those with Ebola. We are hopeful this study will show the same positive outcome for our patients who are seriously ill with the COVID-19 virus.”

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the convalescent plasma treatment option is available for hospitalized patients with severe or life-threatening symptoms of COVID-19 or those at high risk of developing severe or life-threatening symptoms.  Through voluntary research protocol, informed consent will be obtained and follow up data will be collected and analyzed to make treatment decisions for future COVID-19 patients.

“The study is highly dependent and requires donated plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19,” said Dr. Jacob. “Donors will need to meet specific criteria such as having recovered from COVID-19 for 28 days. We encourage those who have recovered from the virus, especially those local to our MidMichigan communities, to review the criteria and join us in our effort to treat this virus.”

Those interested in more information on this treatment may visit www.uscovidplasma.org. Those interests in becoming a donor may visit www.versiti.org/home/convalescent-plasma-donations

For the safety of all, MidMichigan Health reminds its communities:

  • If you feel sick and have symptoms of a fever of 100.4 or greater, cough or shortness of breath, please call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • Please avoid contact with others and do not travel while sick.
  • If you are in need of in-person medical services, please plan to arrive to MidMichigan facilities with cloth face coverings, such as a cloth mask that covers the mouth and nose, a scarf or a bandana. If you do not have one, you will be provided one. The use of the MidMichigan’s Virtual Health Clinic rather than an in-person visit is also strongly encouraged.
  • Help prevent the spread of this virus through social distancing and proper hygiene, such as hand washing and not touching our faces.

As a service to the community, MidMichigan Health has also published a COVID-19 informational hotline with a reminder of CDC guidelines and recommendations.  Staff is also available to help answer community questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hotline can be reached toll-free at (800) 445-7356 or (989) 794-7600.