CORONAVIRUS

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This April 15, 2020 photo provided by New York Blood Center Enterprises shows vials of blood from donors for testing at the Blood Bank of Delmarva Christiana Donor Center in suburban Newark, Del. Survivors of COVID-19 are donating their blood plasma in droves in hopes it helps other patients recover from the coronavirus. And while the jury’s still out, now scientists are testing if the donations might also prevent infection in the first place. (New York Blood Center Enterprises via AP)

Lee Health in urgent need of convalescent plasma donors to treat COVID-19

Lee Health is in urgent need of convalescent plasma donations to help refill supply levels. Under an emergency use authorization (EUA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made investigational convalescent plasma available for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19.

Convalescent plasma refers to blood plasma collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19. That plasma is then used to treat others with advanced illness as part of the clinical trial. The blood donor must have had a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), be symptom-free for at least 14 days, and be otherwise eligible to donate blood.

The procedure is the same as any routine blood donation. After donation, the blood is processed in the lab to obtain the plasma component. The patient is transfused with the donor’s convalescent plasma, which contains antibodies that may attack the virus and may help the patient recover more rapidly.

Here’s how the donation program works at Lee Health:

  • Individuals who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 whose symptoms have resolved for at least 14 days can volunteer to donate blood.
  • Donors are screened by clinical personnel with questions and tests to make sure they are appropriate to donate blood that will be processed to make COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
  • To volunteer, call 239-343-2332 or email [email protected]  (E-mail preferred)
  • Documented routine blood donation consent is required; forms provided by Lee Health.
  • If potential donors are appropriate, an appointment for blood donation is scheduled at a Lee Health donation site.

All donations collected by Lee Health stay in our community and are used exclusively for Lee Health patients.

Writer:WINK News
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