FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The American Red Cross is asking people who have survived COVID-19 to donate blood plasma to help patients currently fighting the virus.
The Red Cross has continued to collect blood donations throughout the pandemic but has seen demand for convalescent blood plasma rise faster than donations are coming in. Convalescent plasma is plasma collected from people after they have recovered from a virus, like COVID-19. It contains antibodies that can help patients currently fighting the virus recover faster. One donation of plasma can help up to three patients in need.
Starting in August, the organization will offer a five dollar Amazon gift card as an incentive to any donors who can provide a plasma donation with COVID-19 antibodies. To be considered, an official documenation reporting a positive diagnosis is needed.
“If an individual is recovered from COVID-19, they have that positive COVID-19 diagnosis from however long ago that took place, they can go to RedCrossBlood.org,” said Zak Bernath, Account Manager of Biomedical Services for the Red Cross. “Fill out a patient request, and then a Red Cross represetnative will reach to them with follow up questions to determine eligibility.”
Bernath said they are encouraging those without a COVID-19 diagnosis to donate as well because they always have a need for blood. They are currently testing all donated blood for COVId-19 antibodies and will inform donors of the test results. Results can take seven to ten days to be completed. The Red Cross plans on testing blood for antibodies until further notice.
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