SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does the need for plasma donors.
The American Red Cross in Massachusetts is reminding recovered coronavirus patients to come forward and donate blood plasma, so they can help other COVID patients on their road to recover.
“If you have tested positive and you’re not squeamish about donating blood, we could certainly use your help,” said Jeff Hall with the American Red Cross.
There’s a renewed call for help from the American Red Cross for recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma.
“Right now, we are encouraging anybody who has tested positive for COVID, if they are 14 days clear of symptoms to go online, fill out a survey at redcrossblood.org and an appointment will be scheduled for them to donate plasma donation…Right now, we’ve had 14,000 people step forward nationwide to donate plasma. That has helped probably 30,000 people. We can get two to three units of convalescent plasma out of each donation,” Hall added.
Speaking to Western Mass News via Facetime, Hall explained how convalescent plasma is helping current COVID-19 patients recover.
“People exposed to COVID… as they recover, they have built up antibodies in their body. Through a blood donation, they can help pass along those antibodies to people who are fighting the disease in a hospital,” Hall explained.
He said the process is similar to donating blood with some key differences.
“You’ll be put in a comfortable chair because the process takes about an hour. The blood is drawn from one arm and sent to a technical machine to withdraw the plasma… and then your blood is returned back to you in your other arm along with saline solution,” Hall noted.
While the process is simple, the problem is they're in desperate need for more donors.
“We still need donations. We expect the need to continue for the foreseeable future,” Hall said.
If you're someone who has had COVID, been symptom-free for 14 days, and would like to donate, Hall said, “You can do that every seven days for up to three months or eight times. That will help people across the nation recover from COVID-19.”