NEW YORK – New York Blood Center is calling on New Yorkers who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate convalescent plasma to help critically ill patients across the country. The blood center estimates 7,000 donations per week are needed to combat the virus. Right now, collections are far below that target.
In the treatment, known as convalescent plasma, the patient is transfused with a donor’s plasma with the goal of using the donor’s antibodies to help clear the virus more rapidly.
When COVID-19 was at its peak in New York, thousands came forward to donate to help their neighbors. The blood center created the first public bank of COVID-19 convalescent plasma in March and now maintains the nation’s largest supply with 40,000 units distributed to date. As COVID-19 spreads at historic rates, NYBC is shipping convalescent plasma to hot spots around the country.
“Now is an extremely critical time to donate plasma because cases are surging throughout the US at alarming rates. In our experience, convalescent plasma is a life saver and no person in need, anywhere, should go without it,” said Christopher Hillyer, MD, president and CEO, of New York Blood Center. “Until a vaccine arrives, convalescent plasma is lining up as ‘first-choice therapy’ for this deadly disease. If you are eligible, please come in and donate so we can help treat as many patients as possible. It truly is a matter of life and death.”
Donors must have tested positive for COVID-19 and be symptom-free for 14 days. One donation can be used to treat two to three patients struggling with severe cases of COVID-19. Interested donors can sign up at nybc.org/covidplasma.