One plasma donation has the potential to help up to four patients with COVID-19, so each donation goes a long way.
DES MOINES, Iowa — If you have recovered from COVID-19 and are able to donate plasma, Iowa leaders are asking you to step up.
“Convalescent plasma is being used as an experimental treatment for COVID-19 and has proven to have positive results for many patients,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said during a COVID-19 press conference Tuesday.
Convalescent plasma is blood plasma from people who have recovered from the coronavirus.
The antibodies in that plasma are thought to help patients currently fighting the virus.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization for the treatment in August.
As one of just a few approved therapeutics being used right now in the U.S., it’s in high demand.
“As the patient demand is skyrocketing, so is the need for convalescent plasma,” said Christine Hayes, Chief Operating Officer at LifeServe Blood Center.
At the current pace, Hayes estimated the supply of convalescent plasma in Iowa will be depleted by Dec. 1.
One plasma donation has the potential to help up to four patients with COVID-19, so each donation really goes a long way.
People can also donate plasma multiple times, but be aware of how the center you go to uses your plasma.
“Only a volunteer blood donor is able to provide convalescent plasma that is transfusable to a hospital patient,” Hayes said. “Paid plasma centers are important and are needed for pharmaceutical generation, but transfusable convalescent plasma must come from a volunteer blood donor.”
Only two blood centers in Iowa send convalescent plasma directly to patients in Iowa hospitals.
Both centers have several locations throughout the state.