LifeServe Seeking Recovered COVID-19 Patients to Begin Donating Convalescent Plasma
DES MOINES, Iowa (April 6, 2020) – LifeServe Blood Center, the only community-based blood center in our area and only provider of blood products to more than 120 hospitals throughout Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, is actively working with the FDA and area hospitals to collect convalescent plasma from healthy, recovered COVD-19 patients.
Convalescent plasma is beginning to be used as an investigative treatment for COVID-19 patients. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that attack the virus. Donated plasma (convalescent plasma) from healthy donors who have recovered from COVID-19 is being trialed now, even before final scientific trials have been completed, to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. The initial trials are promising but the need for qualified donors is critical to determine the on-going effectiveness.
LifeServe Blood Center is one of two Iowa-based blood centers that will be collecting convalescent plasma from healthy COVID-19 recovered volunteer donors. The center is seeking the following volunteer donors: individuals who received a positive laboratory confirmation of the virus, have since successfully recovered from COVID-19 (14 days free of any symptoms), and have a physician referral document. Individuals who meet this criteria will be pre-screened to determine donor eligibility. Individuals who meet these requirements are instructed to visit www.lifeservebloodcenter.org to begin the pre-screening and approval process. Walk-in donations will not be accepted. Individuals who believe they have had COVID-19 but did not receive a positive test results are not eligible to donate convalescent plasma. There may be opportunities in the future for different testing for these individuals.
Donations of red blood centers and platelets continue to be in need as concerns about the health of the donor base becomes questionable as the pandemic peaks continue to rise. While elective surgeries are not occurring during the pandemic, cancer treatment, accident, and trauma situations continue to require lifesaving blood donations. As LifeServe is following social distancing protocols, scheduled donation appointments are required. Donors who walk-in without an appointment will not be able to give blood. LifeServe is asking donors to schedule appointments in the weeks and months ahead to ensure a ready and stable blood supply during and after the pandemic. Appointments can be scheduled by visiting www.lifeservebloodcenter.org