Have you recovered from COVID-19?

If so, please consider doing something vitally important – donating your plasma at Community Blood Center of the Ozarks to help patients currently fighting the virus. It’s a safe, easy process that can mean so much to so many.

DONATE CONVALESCENT PLASMA

Convalescent plasma (CCP) is currently being administered to the sickest COVID-19 patients. The need for this blood component is skyrocketing right now, but there are some new relaxed requirements and added incentives to get more donations of this potentially lifesaving blood product.

For CCP donors, referrals by area physicians used to be required but now if a potential donor has either written or electronic proof of a positive COVID-19 test after July 1st and has recovered from the illness for 14 days, they can give if they meet general donation requirements.

CBCO is now also able to provide a $100 Visa gift card to CCP due to the critical need for these very specific donors. The Food and Drug Administration is providing the incentive. To schedule an appointment or to see if you qualify, please call 417-227-5324.

COVID-19 convalescent plasma involves collecting blood plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 and then transfusing it into someone infected with the virus in the hope that antibodies from the recovered individual can help the person who is sick. Patient need is greater than the number of CCP donations received, so we’re asking you to help.

HOW MIGHT CONVALESCENT PLASMA HELP PATIENTS?

The theory is that those antibodies can neutralize the virus or cause an immune response. Scientists and physicians around the world are racing to find new treatments for the virus, and CCP transfusions offer great promise.

“The utilization of plasma donated from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 is viewed as the current best option to treat victims of this virus who are experiencing life-threatening complications,” said Larry Shackelford, President and CEO of Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville.

The potential healing power of convalescent plasma transfusions was recently illustrated in northwest Arkansas where a seriously ill woman recovered and was released after receiving a transfusion of convalescent plasma from generous CBCO donors.

“This is truly a life-saving therapy,” said Stephen Hennigan, MD, Northwest Arkansas Infectious Disease Specialist. “It is critical that we have donors to make it readily available in a timely way for all patients that need it.”

“We have been working with our area hospital partners and have gotten this program off the ground very quickly,” said CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts. “The fact that we are a locally based organization providing all of the blood for area patients means that we can react rapidly when opportunities like this are presented. Convalescent plasma shows great promise as a treatment option and we are pleased to be providing this product for the benefit of local patients.”

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO DONATE CONVALESCENT PLASMA?

To be eligible to donate CCP, donors must meet all regular blood donation requirements. (Visit  https://www.cbco.org/can-i-give/ to see if you’re eligible.) In addition, you must have tested positive for COVID-19, provide us with proof of diagnosis, and be at least 14 days past recovery. CCP donations may be made at CBCO’s donor centers in Springfield, Missouri and Springdale, Arkansas by appointment only.

PLEASE NOTE: CBCO doesn’t perform testing on our donations in-house. They’re sent to a testing laboratory out of state that is not currently performing the COVID-19 antibody test. If our testing laboratory adds the antibody test to their testing panel, we’ll be able to offer that to our donors.

HOW DO I DONATE CONVALESCENT PLASMA?

Potential CCP donors are asked to contact CBCO at 417-227-5324 during office hours (Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) to discuss being part of the CCP program. Appointments are required to donate convalescent plasma (CCP).

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) is the sole supplier of blood, platelets, and plasma to patients at more than 40 area hospitals in southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas, and southeast Kansas. On behalf of local hospital patients, CBCO thanks blood donors from across the region for giving life to your community.