NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) — Hospital officials at Hoag Memorial Hospital are calling for patients who have recovered from coronavirus to donate plasma so the antibodies could be used to help current patients recover.

Plasma donations helped Ebola patients recover and so Hoag Memorial Hospital Dr. Arell Shapiro, who is in charge of transfusions and lab medicine at the hospital, said he jumped at the chance to join a study on using plasma on ICU patients at Hoag.

“We’ve treated 58 patients with over 100 units of convalescent plasma,” Shapiro said. “We don’t yet know the efficacy of how well the plasma has affected the patients’ outcome, but we think it’s having a good effect on the outcome. The problem is we don’t have data from the study analyzed yet.”

So far, the hospital has received plasma donations from 249 recovered patients.

The process is similar to giving blood and patients have the potential to help two to three patients with just one donation, Shapiro said.

Hoag Hospital said in a tweet that its urgent care center provides coronavirus active virus and antibody testing, but not rapid testing at this time.

Recovered coronavirus patients who want to donate need to be in good health and be completely symptom-free for at least two weeks to be eligible to donate plasma, officials said.

Information on donating plasma at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian can be found at hoag.org/COVID.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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