Children's Hospital Colorado

COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma and Antibody Testing (S3:E48)

One of the bright spots during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the promising and experimental use of convalescent plasma, which was recently approved by the FDA for emergency treatment. The donation of antibody-rich blood from patients who have recovered from the SARS-CoV2 virus has been pioneered by Kyle Annen, MD, and the team at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

We have previously covered numerous topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic on Charting Pediatrics. You can go back and listen to our previous coverage on the COVID-19 pandemic on season 3, episodes 31, 36, 38, 41, 42, 43, 44 and 46.

Listen to pediatric experts discuss convalescent plasma and antibody testing

In this podcast, we discuss convalescent plasma, the current epidemiology of the pandemic and the impacts of loosened shelter-in-place orders around the country.

Today we are fortunate to have Sam Dominguez, MD, join us on this podcast. He is a pediatric infectious disease physician at Children’s Colorado and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

Additionally, we are joined by Dr. Annen, who is Director of the Blood Donor Center at Children’s Colorado and Assistant Professor of Pathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

In this episode, our experts discuss:

  • Current updates on the epidemiology of COVID-19
  • Things providers should keep in mind as they consider their practices now that stricter shelter-in-place orders are being lifted
  • The utility of antibody tests and the importance of exercising caution because many of these assays have not been rigorously vetted, so we don’t know the full sensitivity and specificity
  • The importance of understanding the performance of antibody tests and the clinical testing that was necessary to bring them to market
  • Appropriate use of antibody tests; having antibodies doesn’t necessarily mean you are immune to the virus
  • The positive predictive value of the test is dependent on the prevalence of the disease in the patient’s population
  • The history of convalescent plasma and how it works
  • What ignited the work around considering convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients
  • Current FDA limitations around the use of convalescent plasma
  • How patients can request convalescent plasma and which institutions are offering it
  • Who can make convalescent plasma donations
  • Side effects of convalescent plasma infusion
  • Reported outcomes and how it’s being studied
  • The future of convalescent plasma use

Treatment of infectious diseases at Children’s Colorado

Our pediatric experts in the Infectious Disease Program at Children's Colorado provide a breadth of expertise ranging from laboratory-based research to the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. Pediatricians can treat many infectious diseases, but when unique or different symptoms are present, it’s important to refer to a pediatric specialist. We are prepared and ready to treat patients with suspected or confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus. Our clinical staff has been specially trained on how to identify, isolate and treat patients with this and other contagious illnesses.

Refer a patient to Children’s Colorado.