It’s due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Frederick, Md (KM) There’s a shortage of convalescent plasma in the country, according to the American Red Cross. . “Convalescent plasma is the type of blood donation collected from individuals who have recovered from the coronavirus,” says Regina Boothe Bratton with the Red Cross. “Their plasma contains antibodies that might help patients who are actively fighting the virus.”
Bratton says these antibodies are created by the body following a viral infection, which prevent the patient from any re-infection. “Those antibodies can be used–and it’s been successful in several cases–to help other patients who are actively fighting the coronavirusm,” she says.
Since April, the Red Cross has been collecting convalescent plasma to help thousands of patients. “We collected nationwide about 20,000 convalescent plasma products. And in the state of Maryland, we’ve collected 1100. To date, we’ve distributed about 1500 convalescent plasma products,” says Bratton
Anyone who has completely recovered from the coronavirus is encouraged to donate their convalescent plasma. Bratton says the process is similar to donating blood. “Instead of extracting blood, which is everything, we’re just extracting the plasma,” she says.
Those who have recovered from COVID-19 and would like to help can sign up on line at RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid.
Bratton says the Red Cross already tests donated blood for the coronavirus.
By Kevin McManus