Ascension Via Christi Research in Kansas has commenced participation in the national COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma study led by Mayo Clinic—enabled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration greenlight to expand access to convalescent plasma to support the war against SARS-CoV-2—the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic. Centers in Wichita, KS and Manhattan, KS will accept much needed plasma donations for transfusions to SARS-CoV-2 patients in severe to life-threatening conditions.
The Study Now Available in Kansas
With Ascension Via Christin Research now actively involved in the study, those in the Wichita, Kansas area can give back by signing up to give blood (and associated convalescent plasma). The study involves using plasma, donated by people who have recently recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection, for patients who meet the clinical trial inclusion criteria. This transfusion can potentially be administered to a COVID-19 patient experiencing a severe or life-threatening case. Maggie Hagan, MD, serves as the study’s principal investigator, reports local news KWCH.
Additionally, the provider has initiated a site in Manhattan Kansas, adjacent to Kansas State University opening up another region within the State of Kansas to participation. The Manhattan, KS site is led by Avinash Singh, MD, and Travis Dierenfeldt, MD.
COVID-19 in Kansas
As of this writing, Kansas, with about 3 million inhabitants, has recorded 1,790 cases with 86 deaths. With about 390,000, Wichita is the state’s largest city—part of Sedgwick County, which includes about 520,000. The Sedgwick County Health Department reports 242 cases and 4 related COVID-19 deaths to date.
While Manhattan to the north, with 56,000 residents, is a part of Riley County with a population of 72,000. In this part of Kansas, authorities report 232 cases and 3 deaths.
Wyandotte County (Kansas City, KS), with about 165,000 residents, has the most cases and deaths in the state with 412 cases and 36 deaths. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the disturbing racial-based statistics, this county has the largest African American concentration in the state – at 30% of the population. Is it an accident it has the highest number of deaths due to the novel coronavirus?
Ascension Via Christi Research
Ascension Via Christi Research reports on its website that it is one of the Midwest’s leading clinical investigational sites for advanced research—conducting studies for Ascension Via Christi, National Cancer Institute trials though Cancer Research of Kansas and preclinical studies through Orthopaedic Research Institute.
Since 1988, this site has been involved with hundreds of drug and device trials for dozens of global clients providing Kansans state residents access to otherwise unavailable medical options. It’s 12-bed Clinical Research Unit is dedicated to inpatient and Phase I clinical trials. By 2004, it became one of the nation’s few clinical research institutes to achieve ISO 9001-2000 certification—a prestigious, internationally recognized standard of consistent quality.
Cancer Research of Kansas, based at Via Christi Hospital St. Francis, recruits participants for investigational studies designed to determine new ways to treat, prevent, detect, diagnose and control cancer. Also, the Orthopaedic Research Institute conducts applied research and development for orthopaedics and other medical specialties, with a strong emphasis on the design, development, and testing of orthopedic implants, surgical instruments, and related hardware/software systems.
Maggie Hagan, MD
Avinash Singh, MD
Call to Action: If you live in the Wichita or Manhattan, Kansas area, you can find more information by going to the following website: RedCrossBlood.org/Plasma4COVID.