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172 HCA Healthcare hospitals join COVID-19 convalescent plasma study

Test tubes in the holder in the laboratory

In continuing our efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, HCA Healthcare is taking part in a national study where recovered COVID-19 patients can donate plasma to potentially help critically-ill patients. We are leveraging our clinical research capabilities and national hospital network to improve COVID-19 patient care and outcomes. 

Tube of blood being placed in a medical centrifuge for plasma lifting

Today, we announced that 172 HCA Healthcare affiliated hospitals are participating in a national study to test whether plasma from convalescent, or recovered, COVID-19 patients may help in the treatment of individuals currently sick from the virus. As part of the effort, these hospitals are seeking qualified plasma donors in 20 states.

There has been a long history of successful viral infection treatment using convalescent plasma, but additional clinical data – and more plasma donations – are needed to determine efficacy in treating COVID-19. As part of this study, we’re leveraging our clinical research capabilities as well as its national hospital network to quickly expand collection and testing.

Headshot of Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin
Dr. Jonathan B. Perlin, president of clinical services and chief medical officer at HCA Healthcare

“As a learning healthcare system that serves communities across the country, we are proud to play a part in broader global public health initiatives, including this and other research, to identify effective COVID-19 treatments,” said Dr. Jonathan Perlin, chief medical officer at HCA Healthcare. “We’re encouraging the communities HCA Healthcare serves to join us in this important effort to help identify donors.”

HCA Healthcare’s participation is supported by its Sarah Cannon Research Institute, one of the world’s leading clinical research organizations conducting community-based clinical trials. Sarah Cannon has led more than 400 first-in-human oncology clinical trials since its inception in 1993.

Headshot of Howard “Skip” Burris III
Howard “Skip” Burris III, MD, president of clinical operations and chief medical officer at Sarah Cannon Research Institute

“We are aggressively working with our research partners to assess a variety of clinical studies for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19,” said Howard “Skip” Burris III, MD, president of clinical operations and chief medical officer at Sarah Cannon Research Institute. “The convalescent plasma study is focused on treating patients currently facing severe cases of COVID-19, by arming their immune systems with plasma that is rich in virus-fighting antibodies from individuals who have recently recovered.”

Over the last century, convalescent plasma has been shown to help prevent and treat infection in people who are exposed to the same virus. Recent examples of this approach have occurred during outbreaks of coronaviruses like SARS-1, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The current study, which is supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is being led by the Mayo Clinic.

The success of the study hinges on the continued collection of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. People who tested positive for COVID-19 and have since tested negative can help by donating plasma through the American Red Cross or another local donation center.

To find out more about the donation process, eligibility and locations to donate in your area, please call our dedicated COVID-19 Plasma Phone Line at (833) 582-1971 or visit our website. HCA Healthcare is a learning health system that uses its scale and the vast data it collects from approximately 35 million annual patient care episodes to inform and improve patient care. Studies at HCA Healthcare have been published in leading medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet, and have led to new standards of care in the areas of perinatal safety and infection prevention.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 186 hospitals and more than 2,000 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our approximately 275,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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