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Red Cross seeking recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma

A donor prepares to have their blood taken | Photo: Red Cross
A donor prepares to have their blood taken | Photo: Red Cross(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 3:59 PM EDT
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The Red Cross is seeking people who are fully recovered from COVID-19 and may be able to donate plasma to help current patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or those judged by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease.

WHSV's sister station, WSAZ, reached out to the American Red Cross for comment on the program.

Here's the provided statement:

"We know this is an uncertain and trying time for many across the country as the nation works to respond to this public health crisis. On March 24, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new initiative to collect plasma from those who have recovered from this new coronavirus to treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.

The American Red Cross believes that this effort is necessary and urgent to enable rapid access to potentially lifesaving care for those seriously ill. Historically, convalescent plasma was used as a treatment when new diseases or infections developed quickly, and no treatments or vaccines were available yet.

The Red Cross has been asked by the FDA to help identify prospective donors and manage the distribution of these products to hospitals treating patients in need. Currently, we are collaborating with FDA to develop a process to identify and qualify individuals who have recovered from the virus and have antibodies that may help patients seriously ill with COVID-19 in their recovery. On March 30, we established a new webpage, RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid, to help collect prospective donor information. Eligible donors who submit their information will receive an appointment to donate convalescent plasma at a Red Cross or non-Red Cross collection site.

The safety of our staff, donors and ultimate recipients remains our top priority. Only those individuals who have recovered fully from COVID-19 are eligible to donate therapeutic plasma.

We look forward to continuing to work with the FDA and other stakeholders to support this new development in the fight against COVID-19."

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