A promising but unproven method of treating COVID-19 patients has been used a handful of times in North Dakota.

CHI St. Alexius Health says on Saturday, three critically ill coronavirus patients received plasma transfusions from donors who recovered from COVID-19 in New York.

The medical provider says the plasma came to North Dakota via the New York Blood Center. CHI St. Alexius was eligible to receive that plasma because of its enrollment in the Mayo Clinic Research Clinical Trial.

The experimental plasma treatments are believed to help reduce the severity of symptoms of COVID-19.

Dr. Lisa Laurent, the Chief Medical Officer for the hospital, says two of the three patients who received plasma transfusions no longer require ventilator assistance.

Dr. Laurent encourages North Dakotans who have recovered from the coronavirus to contact the American Red Cross or Vitalant to learn about donating plasma to help active COVID-19 patients.