Versiti Blood Centers has issued an urgent plea to those who’ve had COVID-19 to “pay it forward” by donating COVID convalescent plasma (CCP). With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations soaring to new levels, the organization said it’s struggling to keep up with hospital needs. Versiti said the need for COVID convalescent plasma at hospitals it serves has doubled in the last four weeks and is expected to continue to increase. COVID convalescent plasma is a blood-related therapy used by hospitals to treat the most severely affected patients. The donated plasma contains antibodies, which can help seriously ill patients fight the infection.
“We are facing a critical need,” said Dr. Dan Waxman, vice president of transfusion medicine and senior medical officer at Versiti. “Without intervention from the community, we face the very real possibility that we won’t be able to fill orders for patients in hospitals we serve. This important therapy cannot be manufactured. It comes from generous volunteer donors in our communities who have recovered from COVID and now are able to help hospitalized patients in those very same communities.”
Versiti said it has reached unprecedented levels of demand for COVID convalescent plasma.
“Currently inventory levels of COVID convalescent plasma are an enormous concern; our inventory levels have dwindled from four weeks to four days,” said Dr. Waxman. “We’re pleading with the community – if you’ve been diagnosed with COVID and have been symptom free for 14 days, please consider giving an hour of your time to help others who are facing an uphill climb in battling the virus.”
Individuals who have previously donated COVID convalescent plasma are asked to call 1-866-642-5663 to make another appointment. CCP donors are generally eligible to donate up to 12 times.
Those who are interested in donating COVID convalescent plasma for the first time are asked to visit versiti.org/covid19plasma.