America Red Cross asking COVID-19 patients to donate plasma

Plasma needed from recovered COVID-19 patients

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The American Red Cross is now asking patients who have fully recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma.

Individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and have fully recovered have developed antibodies to the virus; these antibodies may help patients seriously ill with COVID-19 in their recovery.

To be eligible to donate convalescent plasma, individuals must meet all regular blood donor requirements, be completely symptom-free for at least 14 days, as well as meet additional qualifications.

Birmingham resident Pamela Franco, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 two weeks ago, has been cleared from the Jefferson County Health Department. She donated her plasma to a different company, but said donating to programs like this, through the American Red Cross, is a small way to help save lives.

“I have nothing to lose and everything to gain to help others with this. I don’t know why I was chosen to get the virus and it was horrible, I was on oxygen, and I’m able to share this with you today that I’m healing every day," Franco said.

To donate, click here to find out more information.

Here’s a statement from the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross is supportive of FDA’s effort and is committed to assisting with plasma collections from carefully-screened recovered COVID-19 patients to enable rapid access to treatment for the most seriously ill patients. At this time, the Red Cross is working closely with FDA to develop a process to identify and qualify individuals who have recovered from the virus and have the necessary antibodies to participate in this effort. The Red Cross encourages individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and are currently healthy, to visit RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid to submit their contact information and answer questions to help determine initial eligibility. The Red Cross will then follow-up with prospective candidates to confirm eligibility and participation.

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