New York Blood Center (NYBC) is imploring people who have recovered from COVID-19 to come forward to donate convalescent plasma to help retreat patients around the country suffering from the disease. The effort is part of a federal initiative with the Department of Health and Human Services to increase the amount of convalescent plasma available to treat patients nationwide.
NYBC says that it has shipped convalescent plasma to some of the hardest hit states, including Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and California.
The organization described the usefulness of the plasma in a statement saying that the patient is transfused with the donor’s plasma with the goal of using the donor’s antibodies to help clear the virus more rapidly and help decrease the need for ICU beds and ventilators. They say that each donation can be used to treat two to three patients.
To date, NYBC has collected over 34,000 units of convalescent plasma and plans to hit a goal of 10,000 units per month.
“Now is an extremely critical time to donate plasma because cases are surging throughout the US at alarming rates. In our experience, convalescent plasma is a life saver and no person in need, anywhere, should go without it,” said Christopher D. Hillyer, MD, President and CEO, of New York Blood Center. “Until a vaccine arrives, convalescent plasma is lining up as ‘first-choice therapy’ for this deadly disease."
Donors must have tested positive for COVID-19 and be symptom-free for 14 days.If you are interested in becoming a donor, sign up at nybc.org/covidplasma.