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Memorial Hospital, Orange Park Medical Center Taking Part In National COVID-19 Study

Memorial Hospital's main entrance on University Blvd.
MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
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Memorial Hospital's main entrance on University Blvd.

Memorial Hospital and Orange Park Medical Center are participating in a national COVID-19 plasma study.

The two hospitals announced Wednesday they have joined a study aimed at determining if plasma from convalescent, or recovered, COVID-19 patients may benefit individuals currently hospitalized with severe or life-threatening cases of coronavirus.

“We are proud to take part in this important study. We are asking for the help of our community to spread awareness about plasma donation for patients facing COVID-19 not only here in Jacksonville but also around the world,” said Memorial Hospital Chief Operating Officer Cory Darling in an email to WJCT News.

The hospitals are looking for eligible volunteers to give plasma.

See if you qualify here. The hospitals' dedicated COVID-19 plasma phone line is at (833) 582-1971.

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

The two Northeast Florida HCA Healthcare-owned hospitals said in a news release that there has been no proven therapy for people who are diagnosed with COVID-19, but there is a long history of successful viral infection treatment using convalescent plasma.

And the presence of antibodies in a recovered patient's blood doesn't guarantee they're immune to future infections.

“It’s important to remember that although an individual has had COVID-19 and recovered, they may be less vulnerable than someone who has not been infected, but they should still follow the recommended precautions such as handwashing and social distancing,” said Dr. Bradley Shumaker, chief medical officer at Orange Park Medical Center.

The hospitals are among the 172 hospitals participating from the HCA Healthcare network and HCA Healthcare, along with its Sarah Cannon Research Institute.

The study is being led by the Mayo Clinic and supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.