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Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center collecting plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients

The center is collecting plasma from former coronavirus patients to help new ones fight the virus.
Credit: Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center

If you're a recovered COVID-19 patient, you might not think donating blood is the best idea, but actually, you'd be just what people need. 

The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is collecting plasma from former COVID-19 patients who have recovered to help new patients in their fight against the disease. 

The plasma is critical for a process called convalescent plasma therapy. Blood plasma contains antibodies, the unique proteins that the body makes to fight specific foreign substances. 

Medical experts are testing the ability of this process to fight against COVID-19 by, essentially, taking antibodies from people who have recovered from the virus and introducing them to people who have recently been infected, with the goal of making the fight against the virus easier. 

Here are the guidelines that the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center have released for donation:

To provide convalescent plasma, donors must be fully recovered from their COVID-19 infection and must meet all standard eligibility criteria for blood donation. Plasma will only be collected from donors with laboratory-confirmed tests showing they had a COVID-19 infection and must be at least 14 days from the last date they experienced symptoms.  

Each donor must be referred to the Blood Center by their physician, who must provide certain information to qualify the donor. A donor must meet standard criteria for donor eligibility. Donors will be scheduled for a plasma donation at a MVRBC Donor Center. Potential donors are asked to contact their physician to make a referral as a COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor.

Physicians wishing to refer patients for donation should use the referral form which will be available starting Monday, April 6, 2020.