By Franca Braatz
Mount Sinai Hospital and its Icahn School of Medicine are on the frontlines in a race to defeat the coronavirus outbreak.
A multidisciplinary team has been assembled and is already testing several hundred patients a day to determine what they call an “End-to-End” diagnostics solution for COVID-19.
The approach includes diagnosis, treatment selection, and protocols for monitoring the course of the disease. The goal is to ramp up to 1,000 patients daily.
Researchers there have also developed one of the first antibody tests for COVID-19 and now need the public’s help to help save others.
The test measures antibody levels in patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus and are now fully recovered. If those patients have high levels of immunity, their antibody-rich plasma called “convalescence plasma,” could be used to treat patients most sick with the disease.
The technique has been used for over 100 years in past outbreaks, most recently in 2009 during the H1N1 epidemic.
Mount Sinai is ready to start treating patients immediately and is asking for fully recovered COVID-19 volunteers to have their blood tested.
If high levels of antibodies are detected, doctors will work with local blood donation centers to determine the most qualified donors.
Volunteers are being asked to email the hospital at COVIDSerumTesting@mountsinai.org for further information.