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Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients needed

People who have recovered from the coronavirus can donate plasma to help treat others.

SARASOTA, Fla. — With the record-breaking spike in cases over the last couple of weeks, more people might be seeking out medical attention.

When you are admitted to the hospital for COVID-19, one line of treatment is convalescent plasma, plasma from a person that has already recovered from the coronavirus.

But right now, blood banks are running extremely low.

If you go to donate blood right now, you will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. And, if you have them, you will be asked to come back and donate plasma. 

While convalescent plasma is not considered a cure for COVID-19, many hospitals are using it because doctors have noticed it significantly helps patients to recover faster. Jayne Giroux with The Suncoast Blood Center says it is down to about a dozen treatments, so they are asking for more donors.

"Your antibodies have the power to heal somebody, potentially, who has contracted the virus. And, there are so few people out there with the positive tests and with the antibodies, that when you donate your convalescent plasma, we can get four treatments. So, you have the potential to save four lives," Giroux said. 

We also reached out to One Blood which serves most of the southeast and they said they have a "ready supply" of convalescent plasma. But, they always need more.  

Remember, because of social distancing, there aren't as many blood drives.

It's preferred you go online and make an appointment to donate blood.

RELATED: Coronavirus antibody levels may decline quickly, Chinese study suggests

RELATED: Supply for effective plasma treatment dwindles as Sarasota and Manatee see uptick in COVID-19 cases

 

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