When President Trump began discussing convalescent plasma at the end of August, many chose to make the topic political, however, it really has nothing to do with politics. Convalescent plasma is just one of the tools doctors have chosen to turn to until a safe and effective vaccine or other treatment comes to market.
In fact, doctors thought of using convalescent plasma as far back as last spring as a modality to treat COVID-19. The New York tri-state area was one of the first significantly impacted by the disease. New York business people travel all over the world. No one can say for sure if the disease started to spread because it came to the East Coast from China or Europe, but once it hit the greater New York area it spread alarmingly fast.
The Mayo Clinic wanted to rapidly test a population in the New York area that recovered from COVID-19. The way they decided to pursue this was by reaching out to a social service organization, Bikur Cholim, in Lakewood NJ who had access to names and contact information for those in the area. However, lack of funds was a hindrance. They decided to reach out to Streamline Verify to be a corporate sponsor because of their skills and expertise in the healthcare industry. Streamline Verify specializes in sophisticated software to assist healthcare related companies comply with OIG exclusion screening compliance regulations.
The first step in assisting the Mayo Clinic was to have people who had suffered from COVID-19 fill out intricate surveys about themselves and the symptoms they had. Then from approximately 12,000 detailed surveys more than 6,500 people were called back to be tested for antibodies. Streamline Verify accomplished this through their Antibody Everybody Initiative.
The next step was asking some of those who did have antibodies to be donors of convalescent plasma. Originally, donors had to travel to blood banks in Delaware to accomplish this but Streamline Verify spearheaded the largest convalescent plasma drive (which was held over the course of seven events) in the U.S. to date by offering their corporate office as a location to accomplish this task.
The press was eager to cover the story of a private company giving up 7000 square feet to become a field hospital. The story was covered in several well-regarded media outlets, including Pix11, CBS and ABC.
While the world awaits a vaccine, convalescent plasma is an option for those who are suffering. In fact, the Mayo Clinic’s website says, “Data from small clinical trials and a national access program suggest that convalescent plasma may lessen the severity or shorten the duration of COVID-19.”
This is why Streamline Verify joined with Covid Plasma Initiative. The initiative has formed alliances with blood banks across the country, to see to it that plasma is sent where it is in the greatest need.
The NIH and other researchers are studying the data collected last spring with hopes of gaining a better understanding of this virus and that data will soon be published in peer-reviewed medical journals.