Recovered COVID-19 individuals can help current ones fighting disease

Recovered COVID-19 individuals can help current ones fighting disease

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Coffee Memorial Blood Center is making it easier for previously COVID-19 positive individuals to donate convalescent plasma.

Staff at Coffee Memorial say the plasma is desperately needed from these individuals with more people in our area contracting COVID-19.

“When these patients receive convalescent plasma, especially early on, it can help their survival rate,” said Tuan Le, chief medical officer for the Coffee Memorial Blood Center.

Le says one person’s antibodies could potentially save four people’s lives.

To encourage more of these donors to donate, they are now allowing walk-ins.

“Instead of donors having to wait online at a convalescent plasma registry and then receive the call from us and get scheduled, their able to just come in and let us prioritize that donor and let us collect that lifesaving product right now,” said Emily Bell, the events manager for the Coffee Memorial Blood Center.

Bell says they have received over 500 units of this convalescent plasma so far, but they need thousands.

“The reality is there are more units being called for than what we have right now, and the surge has created a need for this product that can truly help,” said Bell.

Bell says the process of donating plasma is as easy as donating blood.

“The process in itself is not that much different, sitting in a chair and relaxing and squeezing a stress ball if needed and keeping that needle and arm comfortable and donating blood,” said Bell.

The whole process takes about 90 minutes.

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