MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who recently recovered from the coronavirus, is hoping his blood will help with an experimental treatment.

Suarez is now the first COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor in the state.

According to OneBlood, which reached out to the mayor for his blood donation, the experimental treatment has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be used on an emergency basis to help people with life-threatening coronavirus infections.

People who recover from coronavirus infection have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood. Transfusing the plasma that contains the antibodies into a person still fighting the virus can provide a boost to the patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover.

Suarez tested positive in March but exhibited no symptoms.

OneBlood is working quickly to implement the new protocols to meet the FDA criteria for COVID-19 convalescent plasma. They plan to collect plasma from qualified donors in the coming weeks and start offering the therapeutic agent to hospitals to treat severely ill coronavirus patients.

Potential donors will need to meet all the usual screening criteria for blood donation, plus pass additional FDA criteria, including:

  • COVID-19 convalescent plasma must only be collected from recovered individuals if they are eligible to donate blood.
  • Required testing must be performed and the donation must be found suitable.
  • Prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test.
  • Complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior to donation.
  • Have a negative result for COVID-19.
  • Meet all standard FDA blood donation requirements.

In addition, the recipients of the plasma will also have to meet FDA criteria in order to qualify to receive this therapy.

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