New Jersey American Red Cross setting up blood plasma donations to battle COVID-19

American Red Cross chapters across New Jersey are teaming up with the federal government to organize blood plasma donation drives to battle COVID-19.

News 12 Staff

Apr 18, 2020, 2:10 AM

Updated 1,468 days ago

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American Red Cross chapters across New Jersey are teaming up with the federal government to organize blood plasma donation drives to battle COVID-19.
The process is similar to giving blood. The plasma can use used as a possible life-saving treatment for those who are seriously ill because of the virus. The Food and Drug Administration has approved this emergency process because a coronavirus vaccine is likely at least a year away.
“We are collecting plasma from patients who already had COVID-19 and have recovered for the potential use of patients who are still dealing with the infection,” says Red Cross chief medical officer Dayand Borge. “The idea is the plasma contains antibodies that can fight infection and can be beneficial to those who are already fighting the infection.”
While there have not been any long-term studies proving the effectiveness of the treatment, convalescent plasma has a history of helping to treat patients fighting other viral diseases. Recent studies are promising. Five critically ill COVID-19 patients got better after receiving the treatments, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Photos: The Heroes of the Coronavirus Pandemic
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“Our overall goal is to build up the supply of this COVID-19 convalescent plasma so that if a hospital has a patient in need, instead of trying to patch up a patient with a donor, they can just call us and order the product and they can send it right to the hospital,” says Borge.
People who qualify to donate plasma must have had the virus and be symptom-free for 28 days or be symptom-free for 14 days be then test negative for the virus.
More information about donations can be found on the American Red Cross website.


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