Published on April 15, 2020

Altru patient is one of the first in the region, and nation, to undergo convalescent plasma therapy for coronavirus

A patient who has tested positive for coronavirus is one of the first in the state of North Dakota, and in the country, to participate in the Expanded Access to Convalescent Plasma for the Treatment of Patients with COVID-19. Convalescent plasma therapy is a method that involves taking plasma from a recovered coronavirus patient and giving it to another who is actively fighting the virus. The plasma must come from a patient who has fully recovered from a COVID-19 infection who has volunteered to donate their plasma.

Physicians are studying whether antibodies found in the plasma could boost the immune system of patients struggling with the illness. Antibodies are proteins created by the immune system to neutralize a virus. It’s unclear how the COVID-19 antibodies might work. The hope is that an infusion of convalescent plasma may boost a generalized response, known as passive immunity until a patient develops a strong, targeted ability to fight the virus.

Altru, a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, is leading the fight against coronavirus in Eastern North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota.

There are currently 12 positive cases of coronavirus in Grand Forks County. The North Dakota Department of Health says there are 341 positive cases of coronavirus in the state. The Minnesota Department of Health has identified 1,695 positive cases of coronavirus in the state.

About Altru Health System

Based in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Altru Health System is a physician-led, multispecialty group practice with an acute care hospital, Level II trauma center, specialty hospital, more than two dozen Grand Forks and regional practice locations, and a large home care network. Altru Health System was the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, extending Mayo Clinic knowledge and expertise to the patients we serve. For more information, visit altru.org.