The Plasma Protocol
by Dr. Roy L. Swank.

Note: This protocol was pioneered by Dr. Swank in the early 1980's and has since been adopted by other facilities and physicians.

"We have a number of patients with MS who have received fresh frozen plasma periodically. In the period between 1982 to present, more than 500 different patients received plasma in the Short Stay Unit at OHSU, the Portland Red Cross or at the Swank Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Center (no longer open), for a total of more than 1800 infusions in all. In addition, plasma has been prescribed by a number of physicians in several different states and in Canada, mostly for our patients.

The plasma infusions are given primarily to patients who are not satisfactorily controlled by low-fat diet alone. This applies to approximately 5-10% of our patients; 90% manage well on the diet alone if the diet is followed carefully. The plasma infusions are given whenever a patient's condition starts to deteriorate and cannot be controlled by rest. In a few cases, it is given periodically, enabling the patient to continue working outside the home. The best results are obtained early in the disease. In chronic situations, the plasma is much less effective, although it does reduce fatigue, clarifies thinking and improves memory in patients who are seriously disabled. We also recommend that all of our patients receive two units of fresh frozen plasma or one unit whole blood to be given immediately following childbirth or major surgery. This has proven to be very effective in preventing exacerbations following these procedures."

Guidelines for plasma donors must be strictly followed. If you would like to discuss the plasma protocol with your own doctor or neurologist, please send a self-addressed double-stamped envelope to the Swank MS Foundation and request more information. Your donation of $3.00 will be appreciated to cover copying and handling costs.