ORLANDO (CBSMiami) – As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in Florida, there is now an urgent need for convalescent plasma. which is being used at hospitals as potential treatment for people battling the respiratory disease.
“OneBlood is experiencing more than a 500% increase in hospital orders for COVID-19 convalescent plasma. We are urging people who have recovered from the coronavirus to step forward and donate their plasma, they are urgently needed”, said Susan Forbes, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for OneBlood.
People who recover from the coronavirus infection have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood. Transfusing the plasma that contains the antibodies into a person still fighting the virus, can provide a boost to the patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover.
“The need for convalescent plasma and the number of sick patients that are coming in on a daily basis is staggering. We absolutely need people who have recovered from the virus to contact OneBlood and donate as soon as possible”, said Candice Sareli, M.D., Chief Medical Research Officer at Memorial Healthcare System in Miami.
The experimental treatment is approved by the FDA.
“We’re trying to give convalescent plasma to more patients earlier in their treatment to prevent progression of the disease. The more readily available convalescent plasma is, the less deaths we’re going to have from COVID-19 and the better outcomes we’re going to have”, said Samer Fahmy, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
Plasma can be donated every 28 days, however, potential donors need to meet all the usual screening criteria for blood donation, plus pass additional FDA criteria, including:
- Must have complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior to donation
- Must provide prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test or letter from hospital confirming diagnosis, or provide a positive serological test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies
- OneBlood is also testing all blood donations for the COVID-19 antibody
- Donors who test positive for the antibody will be eligible to become COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors.
If you’d like to donate plasma, or blood, visit www.oneblood.org or call 1-888-9DONATE. Appointments are required.