WASHINGTON, April 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- America's Blood Centers and its members are working closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect and distribute convalescent plasma from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.
"Community blood centers are at the forefront of delivering convalescent plasma to patients in critical need. This promising investigational product must get to patients without delay, and blood centers across the country have mobilized in response," said Kate Fry, CEO of America's Blood Centers, an organization that represents nearly 50 not-for-profit blood centers throughout the United States who collect close to 60 percent of the nation's blood supply.
While COVID-19 currently has no proven treatment, it is possible that convalescent plasma, a component of blood from patients that have recovered from COVID-19, may provide antibodies to fight the virus. Individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 may be eligible to donate 14-28 days after complete resolution of their symptoms.
ABC member blood centers have already begun collecting and distributing convalescent plasma and are expanding their capacity to do even more in the coming days and weeks. "Community blood centers are the backbone of the nation's blood supply and help facilitate the gift of life for patients in need every day. This effort is an extension of that mission," says Fry.
For individuals meeting the above criteria of recovery from COVID-19, the donor center will further evaluate their eligibility for donation which might include additional prescreen blood testing as well as routine donor screening. To be eligible to donate convalescent plasma, donors must meet all regular blood donor requirements.
Individuals who have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have since experienced a full recovery should contact their local blood center to determine their eligibility. Hospitals should also contact their regular blood provider regarding availability and with information about potential donors.
About America's Blood Centers Founded in 1962, America's Blood Centers is North America's largest network of community-based, independent blood programs. Recognized by the U.S. Congress for its critical work in patient care and disaster preparedness and response, the federation operates more than 600 blood collection sites providing close to 60 percent of the U.S., and a quarter of the Canadian blood supply.
These blood centers serve more than 150 million people and provide blood products and services to more than 3,500 hospitals and healthcare facilities across North America. Each year, our members help save the lives of nearly 3 million patients. America's Blood Centers' U.S. members are licensed and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Our Canadian member is regulated by Health Canada. America's Blood Centers is not affiliated with the American Red Cross. For more information visit www.AmericasBlood.org.