HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Clinic has announced its involvement in a COVID-19 Expanded Access Program.
“When the pandemic first began, we realized there weren’t any FDA approved treatments at the time,” said Clinical Trial director Dr. Bo Hrom. “We found out this was available through the Mayo Clinic, and we were one of the first sites in the country to open up the protocols here.”
The major goal of this clinical trial is to determine if the antibodies developed in recovered COVID-19 patients will effectively treat those who are currently affected by the disease.
Hrom says right now, only patients in serious, critical condition are able to receive the treatment.
“Your immune system makes antibodies that are proteins that neutralize the virus,” Hrom said. “Once patients recover, they still have those antibodies. You take the antibodies out of the people who have recovered and give them to people who don’t have those antibodies yet. That neutralizes the virus, theoretically, in their body.”
Hrom says things are going well with the trial, but they are in need of plasma donors.
“Anyone who has recovered, we really need plasma donations,” Hrom said. “We’re at a critical level because we’ve had a spike in the area and we need donors right now. They can donate their plasma if they are 28 days symptom free.”
Since March, the trial has been used to treat more than 80 COVID-19 patients.