Plasma to be harvested from COVID-19 recoveries
The American Red Cross knows this is an uncertain and trying time for many across the country, as the nation works to respond to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new initiative to collect plasma from those who have recovered from this new coronavirus, to treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.
The Red Cross believes that effort is necessary and urgent, to enable rapid access to potentially lifesaving care for those seriously ill. Historically, convalescent plasma was used as a treatment when new diseases or infections developed quickly, and no treatments or vaccines were available yet.
The Red Cross has been asked by the FDA to help identify prospective donors and manage the distribution of these products to hospitals treating patients in need. Currently, Red Cross is collaborating with the FDA, to develop a process to identify, and qualify, individuals, who have recovered from the virus and have antibodies that may help patients seriously ill with COVID-19 in their recovery.
The safety of staff, donors and ultimate recipients, remains top priority for the Red Cross. Only those individuals who have recovered fully from COVID-19, are eligible to donate therapeutic plasma.
A new webpage, RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid, has been established to help collect prospective donor information. Eligible donors who submit their information will receive an appointment to donate convalescent plasma, at a Red Cross or non-Red Cross collection site.