The Red Cross is supporting the collection of convalescent blood plasma to help infected Oregonians
OREGON — The Red Cross is collaborating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect COVID-19 antibodies found in blood plasma. They’re asking for blood and plasma donations from people who are fully recovered from the coronavirus.
People who recover from the disease have permanent antibodies floating in their blood plasma. These antibodies can be given to new patients to strengthen their immune systems and help them fight the coronavirus.
The plasma treatment is an option for those with serious or life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or those judged by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progressing to a severe or life-threatening condition.
Are You Able to Donate?
To qualify to donate plasma for coronavirus patients, you must answer “yes” to all of the following:
- Are you at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 lbs.? Additional weight requirements apply for donors age 18 or younger.
- Are you in good health? Do you generally feel well, even if you’re being treated for a chronic condition?
- Do you have a prior verified diagnosis of coronavirus? Have you fully recovered?
If you meet these qualifications and want to donate, visit this link to sign up now.
“This is an opportunity for courageous Oregonians who have battled this disease and recovered, to help those still suffering,” said Dale Kunce, CEO Red Cross Cascades Region. “I encourage anyone who has a verified diagnosis of COVID-19 and is currently healthy, to visit RedCrossBlood.org to learn how their donation may help.”
Hospitals and healthcare providers can learn about how to get plasma for their patients on the Red Cross clinician information webpage.
Haven’t Tested Positive for COVID-19? You can still donate!
When COVID-19 forced the cancelation of dozens of planned blood drives, Oregonians were encouraged to make an appointment to donate blood. Of course, blood donation centers are taking every precaution to ensure donating is safe, including screening, sanitizing, and social distancing.
In addition to still being safe, donating blood is also allowed under Governor Kate Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives order. Dr. Jerome Adams, the U.S. Surgeon General, recently said he was, “worried about potential blood shortages,” encouraging Americans that they “can still go out and give blood.”
Plus, the need for blood is only going to keep increasing. “The need is certainly real and the demand for blood will significantly increase once the hospitals start re-scheduling surgeries that were cancelled due to the coronavirus,” says Mark Smith of Bloodworks Northwest, a nonprofit that stocks blood to more than 80 hospitals specifically in the Pacific Northwest.