DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – LifeServe Blood Center is actively working with the FDA and area hospitals to collect convalescent plasma from healthy, recovered COVD-19 patients.
The blood center said people who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that attack the virus.
Convalescent plasma is beginning to be used as an investigative treatment for COVID-19 patients even before final scientific trials have been completed, to determine the effectiveness of the treatment, according to LifeServe.
According to the blood center, the initial trials are promising but the need for qualified donors is critical to determine the on-going effectiveness.
Claire Deroin of LiveServe Blood Center said LiveServe is excited to be part of the process.
“They’re still studying this but this is really our best shot since there’s no other treatment and we’re really excited to be part of the process, you know getting that plasma to patients who could potentially benefit from it,” Deroin said.
LifeServe Blood Center is one of two Iowa-based blood centers that will be collecting convalescent plasma from healthy COVID-19 recovered volunteer donors.
The center is seeking the following volunteer donors:
- Individuals who received a positive laboratory confirmation of the virus, have since successfully recovered from COVID-19 (28 days free of any symptoms), and have a physician referral document.
Individuals who meet the above criteria will be pre-screened to determine donor eligibility.
People who meet the requirements are instructed to visit LifeServe’s website to begin the pre-screening and approval process.
Walk-in donations will not be accepted.
Those who believe they have had COVID-19 but did not receive positive test results are not eligible to convalescent plasma.
There may be opportunities in the future for different testing for these individuals, LiveServe said.
The blood center said donations of red blood centers and platelets continue to be needed as the pandemic’s spread causes concern for the health of the donor base.
While elective surgeries are not occurring during the pandemic, cancer treatment, accident, and trauma situations continue to require lifesaving blood donations.
LifeServe is asking donors to schedule appointments in the weeks and months ahead to ensure a ready and stable blood supply during and after the pandemic.
Appointments can be scheduled here.