APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The Community Blood Center is helping the fight against the coronavirus by making convalescent plasma available for transfusion to patients suffering from the virus.
Just recently, the CBC announced it will have the capability to test for the antibody in plasma to identify individuals who can become convalescent plasma donors. Testing will help identify those donors whose plasma can be used to treat COVID-19 patients.
There are two ways to qualify as a convalescent plasma donor. The first is through a positive molecular test at the point of diagnosis of infection. The second is laboratory evidence of antibody formation. The CBC will conduct testing by using a segment of the blood donor population who may be eligible to become convalescent plasma donors, with testing anticipated to begin the first week of June.
“Convalescent plasma collected from recovered COVID-19 patients has some early data that shows it’s pretty astonishing when people who are seriously ill with the coronavirus,” says Kristine Belanger, Chief Operating Officer at the Community Blood Center. “Very simply, we want people who have either had a positive coronavirus test or have had the symptoms of COVID-19, have fully recovered and are meeting all of the other donor eligibility criteria.”
The objective is to supply hospitals with blood and blood components, meaning the testing capabilities are reserved strictly to identify potential convalescent plasma donors should the antibody test be positive. Those prospective convalescent plasma donors need to meet the following eligibility:
- Had positive medical test diagnosing COVID-19 OR had symptoms of COVID-19 but did not receive a formal medical test diagnosis
- No longer has symptoms of COVID-19
- Meets all blood donor eligibility criteria
Blood and blood components, such as convalescent plasma, remain safe. According to the CBC, there is no known risk of transfusion transmission of this virus.
Those interested in learning more about convalescent plasma donation should contact the CBC either by phone or by completing an online form right here. The CBC is also still accepting and scheduling blood donations at this time. You can always find more information on the CBC website as well.