SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Trinity Health of New England gets FDA approval to test blood plasma therapy for critically ill COVID-19 patients.

One of only four health systems nationally to be able to do this.

The doctors Western Mass News spoke with tonight said the way this will work is they’ll take plasma from recovering patients and give it to those who need it most.

Trinity Health of New England got the green light from the FDA to conduct a study test therapy.

This is phase two, which is a clinical trial.

Trinity Health of New England's Regional Chief Quality Officer, Doctor Danyal Ibrahim told Western Mass News they’ll use plasma from someone who beats coronavirus, recovers for two weeks, and tests negative.

"If they're agreeable, we harvest plasma from them. The plasma contains antibodies immunity that they develop against the virus, and we’re able to recover...then we will give the plasma that has the antibodies to those patients that agree to receive it that are critically ill, especially in the ICU," Dr. Ibrahim explained.

Trinity Health of New England's Institutional Review Board Chair, Doctor Latha Dulipsingh told us they first saw China do similar studies with impressive success rates.

“Just recently just ten days ago we had a paper from China, which showed they used it on five individuals and they had a very good outcome and then just two days ago, there was another paper from China where they used it perceptively on ten individuals, and it seemed to work," Dr. Dulipsingh explained.

After phase two is complete, they will look for healthy donors who had coronavirus.

"We are collecting plasma from donors who had coronavirus were tested positive for coronavirus and are currently symptoms free for at least the last two weeks. So then we'll collect their plasma and make sure that they have the appropriate antibodies and then give it to the patient who's critically ill with COVID-19 at this point," Dr. Dulipsingh said.

This plasma treatment will only be for those that are critically ill and not for those who have mild symptoms.

"When say critically ill, for many of those patients with the infection they're in the intensive care unit. A good percentage of them as you imagine a majority of them are needing ventilator support," Dr. Ibrahim noted.

Both of the doctors said they hope they succeed with the clinical trials other health systems can use it and help people all over the U.S.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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