By: Jessie Monsivais
In recent weeks South Texas has seen a spike in cases of COVID-19. Our community has displayed fortitude with donations of supplies, food, and time. While this has been extremely helpful, the opportunities to fight this health crisis don’t stop there. For those who have recovered from COVID-19, the Coastal Bend Blood Center needs convalescent plasma donations. With COVID-19 antibodies, donated plasma benefits those fighting coronavirus.
Using convalescent plasma from those previously infected treats illness with a passive-transfer of antibodies, a procedure with a history dating back to almost 100 years. The Food and Drug Administration recently authorized the emergency use of convalescent plasma from most patients recovered from COVID-19 produce circulating neutralizing antibodies 2-3 weeks following infection to treat severe or life-threatening COVID-19 infections to reduce symptoms, and in past outbreaks, death.
To donate plasma, the individual must have a positive COVID-19 active test and be 14-days symptom-free. If you have fully recovered from coronavirus, you may be able to help those currently battling the infection by donating your plasma. However, a negative lab test for active COVID-19 disease is not necessary to qualify for a donation. Just one blood donation can save up to three lives, and, undoubtedly, the pandemic has brought a dramatic reduction in contributions to the U.S. blood supply.
“We are receiving phone calls every day about loved ones being in the hospital and needing plasma,” shares Donor Recruiter, Hannah Halepaska. “This plasma has the COVID-19 antibodies to help those struggling in our local hospitals with the coronavirus.”
Our community, unfortunately, is witnessing many loved ones hospitalized in the Coastal Bend, awaiting plasma. If you have had COVID-19 or know anyone that has had this virus, please contact the Coastal Bend Blood Center at 361-855-4943 or go online to our website at coastalbendbloodcenter.org and fill out the Convalescent Plasma Donor Form.
The basic guidelines for donating convalescent plasma include:
- Must be 17 years old or older
- Must be 14 days symptom-free
- Must provide a positive COVID-19 test
- Must weigh 110 pounds or more
As an extra incentive and thank you, the Coastal Bend Blood Center is gifting donors a $50 gift card to H-E-B while supplies last, thanks to Thomas J. Henry. Now is the time to take care of one another, and with no known end date in this fight against coronavirus. The Coastal Bend Blood Center continues to acquire convalescent plasma donors in the weeks to come. If you meet the criteria above, please call 361-855-4943 or go online to schedule your donation at www.coastalbendbloodcenter.org