As demand for convalescent plasma at local hospitals increases, the nonprofit Blood Assurance is calling for donors to help meet the need.
Blood Assurance is seeking donors for convalescent plasma, an investigational treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients that can only be given by donors who have recovered from COVID-19 or test positive for the antibodies. Blood Assurance is asking all recovered coronavirus patients who meet blood donation guidelines to consider giving convalescent plasma.
Blood Assurance is collecting, processing and sending the donated plasma to hospitals where it is given to patients.
“We are seeing a spike in demand for this treatment at hospitals across the nation and right here in our communities,” said Dr. Elizabeth Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. “We need donors who meet the requirements to give convalescent plasma for our patients in need.”
To donate convalescent plasma, donors must have been officially diagnosed with COVID-19, must pass all standard requirements to give plasma and must be symptom-free for 14 days. All convalescent plasma donors who give now through Jan. 15 will receive a $25 Walmart gift card and a fleece blanket.
Click here to see if you meet requirements to be a convalescent plasma donor, and to make an appointment to donate and fill out the information form. Blood Assurance offers information in Spanish as well. If you would like to speak to a Spanish representative regarding convalescent plasma, call 423-752-8459.
To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.
Click here for a list of places in Williamson County to donate.