ASH Hosts Webinar on Treating COVID-19 With Convalescent Plasma, and more

On May 12, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) hosted a webinar on the use of convalescent plasma (i.e., plasma from patients who have recovered from infection, which may contain virus-neutralizing antibodies) as an interim approach to treating COVID-19 while vaccines and effective drug therapies are being developed.

Peter Marks, MD, PhD
Beth Shaz, MD
Evan Bloch, MD, MS

Convalescent plasma could provide short- to medium-term humoral immunity against COVID-19. While the concept is simple and has been used for almost 100 years, this webinar explored the numerous steps involved, which require cooperation between recovered patients who serve as donors; blood centers or other plasma collection centers; treating physicians and their patients; and health-care administrators and regulators overseeing the safety of each step.

The webinar was moderated by Chancellor Donald, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tulane University and Chair of the ASH Committee on Practice.

Presenters included:

  • Peter Marks, MD, PhD, Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Beth Shaz, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, New York Blood Center; President, AABB
  • Evan Bloch, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Pathology and Associate Director of Transfusion Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Find a recording of the webinar here.


Coming Soon! ASH Clinical Practice Guidelines on Use of Anticoagulation in Patients with COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, thrombosis and abnormal coagulation test results have been reported in patients with COVID-19, and this complication is associated with increased risk of death. To support clinicians treating patients with the novel coronavirus, ASH is developing clinical practice guidelines on the use of anticoagulation in patients with COVID-19.

The guidelines will address four distinct populations of patients with COVID-19:

  • acutely ill hospitalized patients
  • critically ill hospitalized patients (e.g., patients in the intensive care unit)
  • patients after hospital discharge
  • nonhospitalized patients

A multidisciplinary, internationally representative panel will develop the guidelines based on currently available evidence, including indirect evidence from non-COVID-19 patients and early reports from observational studies. Initial recommendations are expected to be published in 3 to 6 months, and the guidelines will be updated as new evidence emerges.

“Abnormal blood clotting has been observed in those who have been infected with the virus, and these clots can be very dangerous and even life-threatening,” said ASH President Stephanie Lee, MD, of Fred Hutch-inson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. “There is an urgent and critical need to provide guidance based on the best available evidence for those treating patients with this disease, recognizing also that there are different methods of anticoagulation and risks.”

“ASH has extensive experience with guidelines development, so by convening a panel of hematology experts as well as experts in other medical fields including infectious disease and critical care medicine, we will create evidence-based anticoagulation recommendations to assist those on the front lines of COVID-19 treatment,” Dr. Lee said.

Direct evidence in patients with COVID-19 is expected later this year, as clinical trials now underway are expected to report results. The ASH guideline panel will update its recommendations as this direct evidence becomes available.
Learn more about the forthcoming guidelines here.


2020 ASH Trainee Competition to Address Burnout in Clinical Medicine

Burnout and exhaustion are serious problems affecting trainees and seasoned clinicians and have become even more pressing in the era of COVID-19. What can individuals, institutions, and training programs do to prevent or respond to burnout during periods of public health crisis and routine clinical practice?

ASH is now accepting proposals for the Special Symposium on Quality Trainee Competition, in which four finalists will deliver a 5-minute presentation at the ASH Special Symposium on Quality during the 2020 ASH Annual Meeting. ASH invites you to submit a 500-word proposal for an intervention that you think could help trainees and or staff. Preliminary data are not necessary and proposals inspired by real-world experiences or observations are welcomed. Cash prizes will be awarded for the top presentations!

Submit your proposal by June 26 here.


Abstract Submission Site for 2020 ASH Annual Meeting Opens June 4

The abstract submission site for the 62nd ASH Annual Meeting, taking place December 5-8, will be open from June 4 until August 4, 2020. The meeting will feature the latest breakthroughs in hematology while connecting and convening the global hematology community.

Visit the ASH website for updated information on abstract submission.