EDINBURG, Texas — Globally, over 2.0 million people are currently infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus (the cause for COVID-19 infection) and over 600,000 people in the U.S. are suffering from this disease.

Of greater concern is the fact that the number of patients infected with COVID-19 virus continues to rise both nationally and in the State of Texas.

In the absence of an effective treatment strategy, many innovative approaches are being tested with the hope that we may find a protocol that would help prevent, mitigate and/or treat patients infected with the virus causing COVID-19.

DHR Health and DHR Health Institute for Research and Development have partnered with other hospitals in the region to establish a novel protocol to treat severe and life-threating COVID-19 patients using plasma from donors who have recovered from COVID-19 infection. It has been previously documented that plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 infection contains antibodies that may help fight the disease.

Using FDA approved guidelines, plasma from selected donors will be collected using plasmapheresis at identified blood donation centers in the Rio Grande Valley. To accomplish this goal, DHRHealth and other hospitals in the region have partnered with Vitalant, an FDA-approved blood donation center with facilities in McAllen and Harlingen to collect plasma from identified donors. This protocol has also been reviewed and approved by the DHR Health Institute for Research and Development, Institutional Review Board to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations involving human research subjects. This is a unique opportunity for individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 infection to help patients who are suffering from severe or life-threatening COVID-19.

In addition to treating patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19 infection, a small plasma sample will also be used for important research studies that will help improve our current understanding of the virus. Donors will be provided with a modest financial stipend to participate in this study.

Currently there are patients with severe and life-threatening COVID-19 infections who are fighting for their lives in hospitals in the Rio Grande Valley. Please contact us immediately if you feel you qualify as a potential donor. Your donation could make a big difference in someone’s life.

To learn if you qualify as a donor, please visit this website http://b.link/DHRHIRD_COVID19, or call (956) 215-3166/(956) 342-4896 or email us at [email protected], for more information.