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Nonprofit group, Sewa International, launches COVID-19 plasma registry

Some doctors believe therapy shows promise
Posted at 5:04 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 17:19:00-04

CLEVELAND — Convalescent plasma therapy is being used to treat patients with COVID-19, and a non-profit is on a mission to bring together matching blood donors and critically-ill patients.

Right now, there is no known cure, treatment, or vaccine for COVID-19. But, some doctors believe convalescent plasma therapy is showing promise. It is plasma donated from someone who had the virus and recovered that is given to a patient fighting the virus.

“Convalescent serum is a source of antibodies so we can infuse these antibodies in the patients who are actually infected with COVID-19,” said Dr. Rupesh Raina, with the Association of Indian Physicians of Northern Ohio.

But, how do you match recovered patients with critically ill patients?

“We saw the urgent need for having this service, nothing like this was available,” said Viji Vijay, Cleveland Chapter President of Sewa International.

That’s why the non-profit group Sewa International launched a COVID-19 Convalescent Blood Plasma Registry. View it here: COVID-19 Plasma Registry Sewa International

The group provides a platform to connect donors and recipients nationally.

It’s aimed at helping physicians and patients get the potentially life saving information quickly.

The registry process is HIPPA-compliant and protects the privacy of both donors and recipients, said Vijay.

The Cleveland Chapter of Sewa International teamed up with The Association of Indian Physicians of Northern Ohio to help spread the word about the new database. The site launched April 16.

Right now, convalescent plasma therapy is regulated by the FDA as investigational.

While the therapy is not yet an approved treatment, Raina said he has seen it work.

“I’ve seen a couple of my friends they got it, they got the therapy and improved,” he said.