Red Cross urgently needs plasma donations from fully recovered COVID-19 patients

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The American Red Cross has an emergency shortage of COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma.

Fully recovered COVID-19 patients are needed to help those who are currently sick. The plasma in your blood may contain COVID-19 antibodies that can attack the virus.

This convalescent plasma is being evaluated as a possible treatment for currently ill COVID-19 patients, so a donation from one person could help save the lives of three patients battling this disease.

“We’re really trying to stay up with the demand and the demand is completely outpacing the supply,” says Lisa Smith, executive director of the American Red Cross for Central and Northern New York.

You may qualify to donate plasma for coronavirus patients if you meet specific convalescent plasma and regular blood donation eligibility requirements.

If you are 17 years old, you have to weigh 110 pounds or more. Additional weight requirements also apply for donors who are 18 and older.

You also have to be in good health and generally feel well, even if you’re being treated for a chronic condition.

Those who want to donate plasma also have to have a previous, verified diagnosis of COVID-19 but are now symptom-free.

Smith says, “Even though right here in Central New York we’re doing quite well, as most of the state of New York but the rest of the country is just being crippled by this disease. And this is one of the treatments that is deemed effective right now.”

She adds that there are still people hospitalized in the region and there are new hospitalizations locally almost every day that could benefit from this plasma.

It does take a little longer than giving blood to donate plasma because they’re taking blood out of the donor, separating the plasma from it and putting the blood back in.

“If you consider that just one recovered patient can help three others through this tragic time, and possibly save lives, I think that’s worth a little extra time in all our days,” Smith tells NewsChannel 9.

Click here to learn more or to sign up to donate.

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For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9.

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