AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – The Coffee Memorial Blood Center has announced a critical and immediate need for convalescent plasma to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients statewide. Due to this, walk-in convalescent plasma donors are welcome in donor centers and open-to-public open blood drives.
Those who have recovered from COVID-19, says the blood center, or who have tested positive for antibodies are eligible to give convalescent plasma.
To give convalescent plasma, donors must have had a positive COVID-19 test result, be symptom-free for 14 days and be at least 7 days past their last blood or plasma donation. If a donor meets those requirements, they may walk into a donor center or open-to-public mobile blood drive and let Coffee Memorial staff know they would like to donate convalescent plasma.
“Before now, we were relying solely on our registration system to track convalescent plasma donors. However, the surge of COVID-19 patients in our community hospitals throughout the region has changed the landscape of how we’re recruiting eligible donors to meet the ever-increasing demand for this life-saving product,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Coffee Memorial Blood Center.
Coffee Memorial Blood Center says it began collecting convalescent plasma in early April, as soon as it showed promise in treating patients suffering from severe symptoms of COVID-19. Now operating under an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, Coffee Memorial has a constant, urgent need for convalescent plasma donors.
“The earlier in their care that seriously ill COVID-19 patients receive convalescent plasma, the more likely they will see a better outcome.” says the Center’s announcement. “A single plasma donation can provide transfusions for up to four COVID-19 patients. A donation takes about 90 minutes and donors are eligible as often as every seven days.”
Currently, Coffee Memorial Blood Center is holding a systemwide daily drawing for convalescent plasma donors. Each convalescent plasma donor is automatically entered to win a daily $1,000 VISA gift card, drawn at random.
Individuals are urged to find a donor center or a convenient open-to-public mobile blood drive at yourbloodinstitute.org, or call 888-308-3924 to make an appointment to donate convalescent plasma.
More from MyHighPlains.com:
- Patient hospitalized for COVID-19 plays violin to thank caregivers while intubated
- Former dog owner sleeps at animal shelters, comforting pets waiting for forever homes
- A previously busy holiday for movie theaters may be different due to the pandemic
- Local chefs share tips on a delicious Thanksgiving feast
- What are the long-term effects of COVID-19?