Coronavirus

A Look At The Importance Of Donating Plasma To Help COVID-19 Patients

Dr. Paul Camacho holds up a bag of plasma donated by a COVID-19 survivor at the Hemocentro blood bank in La Paz, Bolivia, on June 12. Atlanta Blood Services is seeking plasma donors as well.
Dr. Paul Camacho holds up a bag of plasma donated by a COVID-19 survivor at the Hemocentro blood bank in La Paz, Bolivia, on June 12. Atlanta Blood Services is seeking plasma donors as well.
Credit Juan Karita / Associated Press

Atlanta Blood Services is a community-based center seeking plasma donors to help make therapies that could very well save lives.

More specifically, convalescent plasma donors are extremely needed. The plasma will be used to nurse patients currently fighting the coronavirus.

This form of treatment is being called “investigational.”

The Atlanta Blood Services executive director, Carrie Cox, shared with WABE’s “Morning Edition” host Lisa Rayam how the process could work.

Cox explained why plasma is need, how it is formed in the human body and the importance of plasma donations.

Rayam asked Cox about the response.

Cox said, as people are getting back to a semi-routine and parents are getting their children prepared for online learning, there is a need for more people to engage and help with the donations.

Based on past results and information, the FDA and the medical industry have decided they will give convalescent plasma a try with COVID-19, Cox said.

“Anecdotally, there have been positive case reports that show patients are benefiting from this, and we continue to have clinical trials … to truly understand the efficacy,” Cox said. 

The medical community and physicians, Cox added, are supportive and have embraced the program by sending people they know — or going themselves — to donate plasma.

Rayam asked Cox what should Georgians, who have recovered from the coronavirus and could possibly become plasma donors, do to give back to their community.

Cox said after coronavirus patients have recovered for a minimum of 14 days and who are at least 18 years old, they are welcome to contact Atlanta Blood Services to confirm they are eligible to donate their much-needed plasma.

The platelets only have a five-day shelf life.

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