Calling all COVID survivors: the Red Cross wants your plasma

Jul 27, 2020

The Ameican Red Cross WNY is calling on anyone who recently recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma, for its use to treat current patients throughout the nation.

"Someone who has recovered from coronavirus has antibodies in their blood that may be able to help someone else fight that infection," said Red Cross spokesperson Jay Bonafede. "What we're hoping that people can do is, those that have had a verified case of COVID but have fully recovered can make an appointment to donate their convalescent plasma, that can then be used to transfuse into someone and hopefully help someone who is still struggling with that disease."

Credit WBFO file photo

As of July 20, the Red Cross collected convalescent plasma from 10,000 former COVID patients throughout the country. The blood product is being distributed to hospitals nationwide, where it's needed. Bonafede says for now, they've been able to keep up with the need, meeting demand within 36 to 48 hours. But as case numbers rise in other states, the demand has more than doubled over the past month.

Interested candidates are encouraged to learn more and register at the Red Cross' blood donation website. The Red Cross may already know if a regular donor had the illness.

"For the past month or so, and continuing for a while, we are testing for antibodies," Bonafede said. "So if you get a positive test for antibodies you, or better yet if you know that you had a verified case of coronavirus COVID, you can go to our website and register. Our folks will then review that and see if you are eligible."