San Diego Blood Bank needs plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients

Written by Taylor Fourier

As the convalescent plasma supply is approaching a significantly low level due to the increasing coronavirus hospitalization and case numbers, the San Diego Blood Bank is calling for help from our community; specifically from those who have recovered from COVID-19. 

Convalescent plasma is obtained from individuals who have recovered COVID-19.

The blood from those who have recovered includes antibodies, proteins produced by the immune system in order to destroy viruses, which are then injected into patients who are currently battling the disease. The influx of antibodies from a recovered individual assists the immune system of people currently infected. 

CEO of the San Diego Blood Bank David Wellis stated, “Before people can generate their own antibodies or enough antibodies, we can provide those antibodies by collecting that plasma from someone who has recovered and then infusing into someone who is sick.”

Currently, many clinical trials are being carried out to assess the efficacy of the therapy, including by the Blood Bank. However, there is early evidence that shows the therapy can make a difference.

Demand for plasma is rising fast. Only a month ago blood banks were being asked to provide around 10,000 doses per day. After the holiday season that number rose to more than 25,000 doses per day. Each plasma donation produces three to four doses, and so far the Blood Bank has accumulated approximately 4,500 doses.

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