Plasma Donations Needed During Covid-19

Date: 2020-09-06 00:36:44

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As the numbers continue to rise, health experts are looking for donors. “COVID 19 is still raging through the community. We are doing more transfusions of plasma then we have, every day is a new record for us right now,” said Jeremy Puckett, blood center supervisor at Lee Health.

While donations are always needed, Lee Health blood center supervisor Jeremy Puckett says, they’re now looking for donors who tested positive for COVID-19. “Convalescent plasma is plasma that’s collected from a recovered COVID 19 patient. It is rich in antibodies and those are what the patients that come in through the ED are in need of right away. If you can give them that boost, that immunity boost, it will help them recover a little bit faster,” he explained.

Patients who fought the infection now contain COVID-19 antibodies in their plasma, which health experts believe may be used to help others fight the disease. “We are collecting whole blood from those donors and separating the plasma. The plasma is frozen and then made available to any of the COVID-19 patients that are in the health system. We are making sure that the units have the antibody present,” he said.

To donate, donors must have had a positive COVID-19 test, have fully recovered, and be symptom-free for 14 days. “We’ve collected probably about 75 donors here internally. We’ve transfused over 140 units already. We’ve had a great turnout. We still need more people to come out. Anybody that’s had a positive test. Even if they get an antibody test done on their own and it’s positive, we’ll take those as well,” said Puckett.

Donors will need to fill out a questionnaire and undergo a mini-physical before donating. A donation that can hopefully help others in the fight against COVID-19.

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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.