GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Prisma Health announced that they will be testing the effectiveness of a new blood plasma treatment for severe or critically ill COVID-19 patients as part of a national trial.

Prisma Health is one of around 100 sites taking part in the trial as part of a national coalition established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The treatment involves donated blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients being used to treat critically ill patients.

The Mayo Clinic is leading the effort with blood banks helping to collect the plasma from the recovered patients.

“The immune systems of recovered patients have created the antibodies needed to clear the virus from the body,” explains Dr. Jerry Edenfield, medical director of Prisma Health’s Institute for Translational Oncology Research and the project’s principal investigator. “These same antibodies can be collected from them in a process much like giving blood and then given to others who are still struggling with the disease.”

Prisma Health is also working with The Blood Connection to ensure that local plasma is available for South Carolinians.

“We are hopeful that using the treatment will help more severely ill people recover more quickly,” said Edenfield.

Edenfield also added that this treatment has shown promise in outbreaks of similar viral respiratory infections.

Prisma Health patients who were confirmed positive for COVID-19 and have recovered and tested negative will receive a letter inviting them to donate plasma for the effort once they have fully recovered.

Any recovered COVID-19 patients with testing documentation from their doctor may also be eligible to donate plasma.