Lee Health needs plasma for COVID-19 patients

Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Credit: WINK News

Lee Health is in need of convalescent plasma donations to help refill supply levels, according to a press release. Under an emergency use authorization, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made investigational convalescent plasma available for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to fight COVID-19.

Convalescent plasma refers to blood plasma collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19. That plasma is then used to treat others with COVID-19. The blood donor must have had a positive test for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), be symptom free for at least 14 days and be otherwise eligible to donate blood. The procedure is the same as any routine blood donation. After donation, the blood is processed in the lab to obtain the plasma component. The patient is transfused with the donor’s convalescent plasma, which contains antibodies that may attack the virus and may help the patient recover more rapidly.

Here’s how the donation program works at Lee Health:

  • Individuals who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 whose symptoms have resolved for at least 14 days can volunteer to donate blood.
  • Donors are screened by clinical personnel with questions and tests to make sure they are appropriate to donate blood that will be processed to make COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
  • To volunteer, call (239) 343-2332 or email COVID.plasma@LeeHealth.org (E-mail preferred).
  • Documented routine blood donation consent is required; forms provided by Lee Health.
  • If potential donors are appropriate, an appointment for blood donation is scheduled at a Lee Health donation site.

All donations collected by Lee Health are used exclusively for Lee Health patients.

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