Right now, the American Red Cross has an emergency shortage of convalescent plasma, a potentially life-saving treatment for patients with COVID-19.
The Red Cross has seen demand for convalescent plasma more than double over the last month as the number of coronavirus cases increases across the U.S. Convalescent plasma products are now being distributed faster than donations are coming in. Individuals who have fully recovered and received a verified COVID-19 diagnosis are urged to sign up to give convalescent plasma now by completing the donor eligibility format RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid.
Convalescent plasma is plasma that is collected from patients who have recovered from an infection and have antibodies that might help fight that infection – in this case, those who have fully recovered from COVID-19. With each donation, COVID-19 survivors have a unique ability to help up to three patients recover from the virus.
Local blood drives include: Monday, Aug. 3, noon-5:30 p.m., Delta Church of Christ, 500 Providence St.; Wednesday, Aug. 5, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Northwest State Community College, 22-600 State Hwy. 34, Archbold; Thursday, Aug. 6, 6 a.m.-noon, Fulton County Health Center, 725 South Shoop Ave., Wauseon.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the country have stepped up to help by giving blood or platelets with the Red Cross. Blood donations from healthy individuals are just as essential now to meet patient needs, and those who gave this spring may be eligible to help again.
Donation appointments can be made by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-733-2767 or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
As a thank-you for helping ensure a stable blood supply, those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma, including convalescent plasma, Aug. 1-Sept. 3 will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card via email. Those who give by Aug. 31 will automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm, redeemable through the 2021 season.
To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions–including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.