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Plasma needed from recovered COVID-19 patients

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 8:25 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The American Red Cross is asking for help with a shortage of COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Doctors need plasma donations from people who have full-recovered from COVID-19.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19, who were asymptomatic or have fully-recovered, may have plasma in their blood that may contain COVID-19 antibodies that can attack the virus.

According to the Red Cross, “This convalescent plasma is being evaluated as a possible treatment for currently ill COVID-19 patients, so your donation could help save the lives of patients battling this disease.”

Since May, Via Christi St Francis in Wichita has distributed approximately 80 components of plasma to patients.

“Blood donation in general is amazing and wonderful but stories from recovered donors, knowing that their antibody is going to another patient, fighting the same issues and symptoms, has been very rewarding for those donors,” said Laura Potter, supervisor of the Via Christi Wichita Blood Banks.

Donating a unit of whole blood, which is collected with a needle and by gravity, takes about 20 minutes.

To donate plasma, it is collected with a machine that gently draws blood out. It immediately gives you back the parts that it is not collecting, such as the red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells.

The machine collects the liquid portion of blood, known as the plasma. Fully recovered COVID-19 people will have an antibody within that plasma.

Plasma collection takes up to about two hours.

If you would like to help, click here.

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