(April 6, 2020) The U.S. blood community has joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in a national effort to support the collection and distribution of convalescent plasma, a potentially life-saving treatment for critically ill COVID-19 patients.
While this coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented, the U.S. blood community has a long history of working together to provide lifesaving blood products to patients during times of need. This new initiative is yet another example of this collaborative spirit. All blood centers are working in tandem to support this initiative and increase production in the coming days and weeks.
Individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and have fully recovered have developed antibodies to the virus; these antibodies may help patients seriously ill with COVID-19 in their recovery. To be eligible to donate convalescent plasma, individuals must meet all regular blood donor requirements, be completely symptom-free for at least 14 days, as well as meet additional qualifications.
Individuals who have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have since experienced a full recovery should contact their local blood center to determine their eligibility. Hospitals and physicians should also contact their regular blood provider for more information.
The safety of collection employees, donors and ultimately recipients remains our top priority. Only those individuals who have recovered fully from COVID-19 are eligible to donate convalescent plasma. Individuals cannot be tested for COVID-19 at a blood center.
To learn more about how convalescent plasma could help in the fight against COVID-19 and where recovered patients can give, please visit one of the following sites:
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.