Doctors at Upstate Medical University are looking for recovered COVID-19 patients for a new clinical trial. They’re asking for them to donate plasma to try and help patients who are still currently battling the illness.

“I really felt helpless to this situation and kind of more of a villain in this story kind of spreading this, so when I found the opportunity to maybe possibly help people was amazing to me,” said Alessandra Miller, who already recovered from COVID-19.
Miller, a Syracuse resident, is the first participant.

The FDA approved the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, and the phone lines at Upstate are open for people to sign up.

“The hopes is that her plasma and the antibodies that she has developed from infection will be given to a person who is on a ventilator or near getting on a ventilator and that will be enough to help them improve clinically,” said Dr. Timothy Endy, the chair of microbiology and immunology department at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Miller is in her early 30’s. Fortunately she had a mild case of the coronavirus, so her body fought off the disease quickly.

“I had one day of symptoms of fever, chills, and body aches,” said Miller. “The next day I was really probably about 70% better. A day or two later I lost the sense of smell and taste.”

A patient is eligible to participate after he or she recovers from COVID-19 and is symptom free for 14 days. Then, he or she will be asked to donate plasma. One person’s plasma is enough to help treat three patients.  

“The community outreach on this has been incredible and the response, and really the willingness of the public who have just gone through an illness and not feeling well, reaching out to be able to help other people says a lot about the culture and the personality of the people in Central New York,” said Endy.

Call Upstate Clinical Trials at 315-464-9869 to arrange a screening appointment.