WARREN COUNTY, N.J. - Health care professionals are trying everything they can to win the fight against COVID-19.
One of the newest treatments is using antibodies from a person who has recovered to treat a person who's still sick.
Doctors say it's not a cure, but it is a piece in the puzzle to find a vaccine.
Doctors at St. Luke's hospital say they've used a new method to treat a COVID-19 patient, and they're hopeful it could be a breakthrough.
The patient was in bad shape at the Warren County, New Jersey hospital, and had hit a plateau.
"Been on a ventilator for 20 days, and with all the general treatments that we were giving, wasn't making any progress," said Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, with St. Luke's University Health Network.
Doctors injected the patient with plasma full of antibodies from a person who had recovered from COVID-19.
In two days, the sick patient was off the ventilator and on the road to recovery, doctors said. But doctors caution this is just one patient and there is still more to be done.
"I think it is certainly true that we are all learning as we go along and trying to find the best pathway to an ultimate destination which is a cure," Jahre said.
The convalescent plasma program is overseen by the Mayo Clinic. Lehigh Valley Health Network is also part of the program and treated their first patient as well, but doctors agree they need to see more results.
"We're hopeful that it will be impactful and make a difference in the treatment of patients, but honestly we still don't have the data that demonstrates convincingly that this is the case," said Dr. Timothy Friel, with Lehigh Valley Health Network.
Doctors say more testing for antibodies for treatment will be coming soon.
They also need more plasma donors. The health networks are asking for people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and recovered to donate plasma at a local blood bank.
There is a screening process, similar to a blood donation, but this could be a piece of the puzzle to finding a cure.