Utah Researchers Need COVID-19 Patients To Study Plasma Treatments

Jul 20, 2021, 6:15 PM | Updated: 9:32 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — As COVID-19 cases surge again, the University of Utah has teamed up with Johns Hopkins University to learn more about treating patients while they have the virus.

Researchers are looking for volunteers who are sick right now. 

For this study, University of Utah researchers need people who tested positive in the last few days. They want more data on convalescent plasma, a very promising treatment. 

“Case rates went down in the US, and now they are clearly coming back up,” said Dr. Emily Spivak, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at University of Utah Health. 

COVID-19 started to spread rapidly again, mainly among unvaccinated people.

Nationwide, COVID-19 cases nearly doubled this week, and hospitalizations rose by a third, mainly driven by the Delta variant. 

Spivak, one of the researchers in the study, said they want more detailed data on how well convalescent plasma works. 

“Could it shorten symptoms of COVID in people who are infected acutely or prevent them from progressing to severe infection, needing hospitalization?” she said. “There’s preliminary data to suggest that it works. We just need a larger study like ours to confirm that.” 

Plasma is the part of our blood with antibodies and proteins that help fight infection. 

Because the Delta variant now accounts for four out of every five new COVID-19 cases, they also expect to learn more about that variant. 

“There are really very few effective therapies for COVID-19,” said Spivak. “Clearly, unfortunately, this pandemic is not going away, or not going away quickly, so we still need to know if there are other therapies to treat people as this goes on.” 

Researchers need people 18+ who recently tested positive for COVID, still have at least one symptom, were not hospitalized, and had the symptoms for no more than seven days.  

Participants have a 50/50 chance of getting either a placebo or the convalescent plasma.

Several months ago, researchers were optimistic that vaccination rates would be higher, protecting more people from hospitalization and death, but it hasn’t turned out that way. 

“We still need effective treatments,” the researcher said. “Until everyone rolls up their sleeve and gets vaccinated, we are going to need treatment.” 

People recently diagnosed can contact researchers at to take the enrollment questionnaire. 

If too many days pass, they may not qualify. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

FILE PHOTO (Photo by Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images)...
Josh Ellis

Utah doctor, others charged with running COVID vaccine scheme, issuing fake records and giving fake shots

A Utah plastic surgeon, his medical corporation and three others have been charged after prosecutors say they issued fake COVID-19 vaccination record cards and injected minors with saline shots.
18 days ago
FILE: People line up in their cars as members of the Utah National Guard give COVID-19 swab tests a...
Eliza Pace

Gov. Cox, along with 24 other governors, call on President Biden to end Federal Public Health Emergency

Gov. Spencer Cox signed a letter with 24 other governors calling on President Joe Biden to end the federal public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic.
2 months ago
flu shot tripledemic...
Matt Rascon

KSL+: The rise of respiratory viruses and COVID’s impact

It’s not even winter yet, and the CDC is warning that the country is experiencing a resurgence of respiratory viruses, which are taking a toll on hospitals and children.
2 months ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave.
4 months ago
Alex Cabrero and Mike Anderson, KSL TV

Sandy woman shares frustration of ongoing battle with COVID-19

As life starts to return to normal from the pandemic, for millions of Americans, it still causes a daily struggle. That's the case for one Sandy woman, who shared her story Tuesday.
4 months ago
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Utah Researchers Need COVID-19 Patients To Study Plasma Treatments