Plasma Donations Needed in Fight Against COVID-19

Posted on Sep 17th 2020 by Florida Blue

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We’ve all heard the saying at one point in our lives, “every cloud has a silver lining,” meaning that something good can come out of something bad.  

That may be true now for those who have fully recovered from COVID-19.

It is hard to imagine what it felt like to be sick with the virus. You may have spent weeks recovering either at home or at a hospital. Regardless of whether your symptoms were mild or more serious, the experience was surely scary for you and your family.

But, now that you are on the road to recovery and your symptoms are gone, you may be able to help people who are currently ill with COVID-19, by donating the liquid portion of your blood (called convalescent plasma in those who have recovered from an illness) to be used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

As someone who has recovered from COVID-19, you have likely developed antibodies to SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These antibodies are found in your blood plasma and may help treat the infection in people who are severely ill with COVID-19.

In the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, the antibodies can be transfused or injected into patients suffering with COVID-19 to help fight the infection.

Here’s what to expect and how to check if you qualify to donate your convalescent plasma:

  • You must show proof of your COVID-19 diagnosis with a lab test, antibody test or a diagnosis from your doctor or health professional.
  • You must be at least 18, fully recovered and symptom-free for at least 14 days.
  • At the donation center, you will be asked to register, provide your ID and contact information—all of which is kept confidential.
  • For your safety and the safety of others, they’ll check your temperature, blood pressure and pulse rate.   
  • After you’ve successfully completed the screenings, you’ll rest on a bed while your plasma is collected by a machine. The whole process should take a little more than an hour and is like donating blood.

For more information on convalescent plasma donation or how to donate, visit the Fight is in Us, the American Red Cross or One Blood to find a donation center or mobile unit.

Filed under: Health Education  

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