With the recognition by the medical community that recovered COVID-19 patient blood plasma can save lives, Hatzalah of Michigan is collaborating with the Mayo Clinic, Lev Roche, Bikur Cholim of Lakewood, New Jersey, and other Hatzalah organizations nationwide to offer COVID-19 IGG antibody testing in order to identify potential plasma donors for local coronavirus patients. Hatzalah, with the support of TCF Bank, is spearheading the campaign in Metro Detroit to test recovered patients for antibodies to coronavirus. Hatzalah has partnered with the American Red Cross, and individuals with antibody levels high enough to donate plasma will be directed to local blood banks.
Plasma testing was provided by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, the lead institution providing coordinated access to investigational convalescent plasma for hospitalized patients with severe or life-threatening COVID-19, or those at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease.
The virus-fighting antibodies in the blood plasma of those who have recovered from coronavirus is being used to treat thousands of the sickest patients still battling the disease. With the assistance of Dr. Nigel Paneth, a professor of epidemiology, biostatistics and pediatrics at Michigan State University and part of the leadership of the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, and in partnership with Ascension Providence Hospital, Southfield Campus, Hatzalah ran a community COVID-19 blood plasma testing drive. The blood samples will be sent to the Mayo clinic where each individual's level of COVID-19 IGG antibodies will be tested.
"The community EMS work that Hatzalah does, saves lives daily," said Gary Torgow, Chairman of TCF Financial Corporation, which sponsored the drive. "This is yet another demonstration of how volunteers can impact communities in the most meaningful of ways. I want to thank all of our partners--the doctors, nurses and medical professionals, our American heroes who are fighting this disease every day."
The outdoor testing site was overseen by volunteers Dr. Daniel Lebovic, a local hematologist and oncologist and by Dr. Steve McGraw, Medical Director of Oakland County Medical Control Authority and Emergency Department Chief at Providence Hospital. Doctors, nurses and Hatzalah medics, all with proper social distancing and the highest safety measures, drew blood samples to be sent to the Mayo Clinic for testing.
Due to an overwhelming response, an additional testing drive will be scheduled for next week. There is hope that those who have recovered from coronavirus can help save thousands of lives.
To register to be tested for the plasma drive please visit https://mihatzalah.org/plasma-drive/ or call 248-744-4357, option 3.
About TCF Financial Corporation
TCF Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: TCF) is a Detroit, Michigan-based financial holding company with $46 billion in total assets and a top 10 deposit market share in the Midwest. TCF’s primary banking subsidiary, TCF National Bank, is a premier Midwest bank offering consumer and commercial banking, trust and wealth management, and specialty leasing and lending products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. TCF has more than 500 branches primarily located in Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota with additional locations in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. TCF also conducts business across all 50 states and Canada through its specialty lending and leasing businesses. For more information, visit tcfbank.com.
About Hatzalah of Michigan:
Hatzalah provides rapid response to medical emergencies, providing life support and medical attention in critical times. When something goes medically wrong, seconds can make the difference between life and death. We augment existing emergency medical services in the cities of Oak Park, Southfield, and Huntington Woods with community-based state-certified EMT volunteer responders. Our volunteers are dedicated community members, who drop everything and hurry to assist those in need. Hatzalah also has around the clock dedicated volunteer dispatchers that use a customized computer aided dispatch system.
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