The need for convalescent plasma continues
NEWARK, Del. – When COVID-19 was at its peak, hundreds of Delmarva residents and people from beyond the area came forward to help their neighbors by donating convalescent plasma. Now, the time has come to help treat patients around the country, who are suffering from the disease. As COVID-19 spreads at historic rates, BBD is shipping convalescent plasma to the hardest hit states, including Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and California.
BBD’s efforts are part of the New York Blood Center Enterprises’ participation in the federal initiative with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase the amount of convalescent plasma available to treat patients nationwide. BBD is a division of NYBCe.
In the past week, NYBC has sent 3,300 units of convalescent plasma out to coronavirus hotspots across the nation. Since beginning to collect convalescent plasma in April, BBD has had 662 unique donors who have presented to donate 864 times, and it has shipped 1,738 products.
In the treatment known as convalescent plasma, the patient is transfused with the donor’s plasma with the goal of using the donor’s antibodies to help clear the virus more rapidly and help decrease the need for ICU beds and ventilators. BBD will collect, process the plasma for infusion, and maintain a supply for hospitals to treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections. Each donation can be used to treat two to three patients struggling with severe cases of COVID-19; NYBC has collected over 34,000 units of convalescent plasma from donors to date.
“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 D. Hillyer, MD, President and CEO, of Blood Bank of Delmarva. “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 delmarvablood.org/coronavirus.
BBD is an affiliate of NYBC, one of the largest independent blood centers in the world. Its network serves local communities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Rhode Island. With cities across the country being heavily impacted by the virus, NYBC plans to distribute its resources to the areas that need it the most.
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