Community Blood Center’s new COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Program will be launched on Friday, giving local residents who have recovered from the coronavirus “a unique opportunity to contribute to efforts to defeat the virus,” program support says.
COVID-19 survivors who have documentation that they tested positive for the virus and have been symptom-free for at least 14 days are able to donate plasma during the program.
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“Plasma from someone recently infected with COVID-19 has antibodies that might fight the infection,” Dr. James Alexander, Community Blood Center’s medical director. “The # 1 criteria is that someone has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been clear of all symptoms for two weeks. Their doctors must determine that they meet the criteria before planning a time to donate. ”
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Candidates for the program must be at least 18, weigh at least 110 pounds, be generally good health and feel good.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the urgent use of convalescent plasma from those who have recovered from the virus for current patients with severe or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or for those deemed to be at high risk. Some evidence that plasma donations can help recipients develop their own antibodies, but more research is needed.
People of all blood types are needed, says Dr. Roberto Colón, system vice president for quality and safety, Premier Health.
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“By donating convalescent plasma, a donor will be able to save the lives of several COVID-19 patients,” Colon said. “Since there is no established effective treatment, this therapy will be particularly beneficial for those who have more severe manifestations of the disease.”
Premier Health and CompuNet provide pre-screening services for the program, with the costs of Premier Health covering costs, to help build a large register of potential donors.
Those who would like to donate to support the foundation of this initiative or learn more information about the glowing plasma donation criteria can visit www.premierhealth.com/covid19plasma
The Community Blood Center collects, processes and distributes plasma. Plasma will be used for both current cases at all local hospitals served by the Community Blood Center, as well as stored for future use.
For COVID-19 survivors interested in donating plasma, they can register for the glowing plasma registry or Community Blood Center registry at www.GivingBlood.org
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