Red Cross gives blood donors new opportunity to help COVID-19 patients

Red Cross gives blood donors new opportunity to help COVID-19 patients

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - American Red Cross blood donors now have a new opportunity to help patients battling COVID-19.

Before, donors were tested for antibodies as a form of information. Convalescent plasma could only be obtained through a special donation.

Donors had to pre-qualify.

Red Cross blood donations.
Red Cross blood donations. (Source: WALB)

Starting this week, the Red Cross began secondary testing of all donations that come back positive for antibodies.

They’re now able to transform antibody-positive plasma from whole blood to convalescent plasma.

Dr. Baia Lasky, Medical Director of American Red Cross in Georgia, says this is helpful because the demand for convalescent plasma is up.

“Of course, the pandemic continues and we have new patients affected all the time. So the demand is continuing on, we are expecting it to definitely go on into the fall and into next year,” Dr. Lasky said.

Dr. Lasky says they’ll continue to collect and increase their availability for convalescent plasma.

This will be a huge benefit to those who need it.

Any new donor that qualifies with positive antibodies, their donation will automatically be used to treat those battling the active virus.

Red Cross blood donations.
Red Cross blood donations. (Source: WALB)

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