Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center participates in study to help COVID-19 patients

Florida Coronavirus News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Medical experts are trying to learn all they can about COVID-19. Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center is participating in that mission, in hopes of finding better treatments.

It all hinges on the plasma of those who have tested positive for the virus.

Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center is partnering with ‘One Blood’ to become a plasma collection site for their study.

They’re asking those who have tested positive for COVID-19, but did not get seriously ill, to become plasma donors.

“They probably should go through their primary care doctor so they can provide them with the confirmation that they had a positive test. They either need a positive test or an antibody test that’s available some places now to prove that they’ve had it and then they can refer them over to One Blood,” said Chief Medical Officer, George Helmrich.

Potential donors have to meet several requirements.

“They need to be 14 days out from symptoms from covid with a negative test, or 28 days out with no symptoms and no test. They can donate plasma, and then that plasma can help as potentially as many as four patients that are critically ill,” said Helmrich.

Doctors are operating under the premise that the antibodies in the plasma will help others.

But not everyone will benefit from the treatments.

“It’s going to help patients in certain stages of their disease and not others,” said Helmrich.

 The study will most likely involve patients with few other options.

 “If we have a patient that’s critically ill, that’s not responsive to standard therapy, this is one of the novel therapies that may be available to them,” said Helmrich.

Gulf Coast Regional staff members say they have not had to use this treatment yet, because most local COVID-19 patients seem to be improving.

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