On Aug. 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19. This EUA may help ensure more patients have access to this potentially lifesaving treatment, providing greater hope to individuals and their families during this difficult time.
It is critical that people who have recovered from COVID-19 roll up their sleeves to donate plasma, so we can help ensure patients have access to the medical treatment they need. The Red Cross is currently distributing convalescent plasma faster than donations are coming in—resulting in an emergency shortage of these much-needed products.
As the pandemic continues and we all grow weary from its challenges, it is important that we remember to care for one another – COVID-19 survivors have a unique ability to help up to three patients recover from the virus. Individuals who have fully recovered and received a verified COVID-19 diagnosis are urged to sign-up to give convalescent plasma now by completing our Donor Information Form on RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid.
Since April, the Red Cross has collected this antibody-rich plasma from more than 14,000 donors and has distributed more than 32,000 products to treat patients at hospitals throughout the country. To date, the Red Cross has collected and distributed convalescent plasma via the FDA-approved Expanded Access Protocol that is being run by the Mayo Clinic, Single Patient Emergency Investigational New Drug (eIND) program or other approved INDs to treat seriously ill patients. Currently, there are multiple studies being conducted by the medical and greater scientific community to help define the efficacy of convalescent plasma—of which the Red Cross is a part.
We are grateful to those who have donated convalescent plasma and urge more to join us in this important effort to battle coronavirus.