There is a national blood drive underway to collect donations of plasma from individuals who have survived Covid 19 and built antibodies to the virus. “The Fight Is In Us” is a coalition of top international hospitals and health care centers, the Texas Medical Center at the forefront, who are supporting rapid development of or new therapies including the use of convalescent plasma.
There are hundreds of thousands of people now throughout the United States who have recovered from the virus and are being asked to share their antibodies to help others survive. The combined medical organizations are hoping to get ahead of a possible resurgence of cases in the fall when seasonal flu virus is added to the equation of maladies and are looking for Covid 19 survivors today within two months of recovery.
In the Houston area, donations are being accepted at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. Donations are made by appointment only, says social media coordinator Kelly Moran. “Currently we’re asking the community if someone has recovered from Covid 19: a 14 day recovery with no symptoms and a negative test result.” Moran says they’re also looking for someone who has no symptoms for 21 days following a positive test.
Moran says they’re working with local hospitals, and after patients who had received positive test results recover, in the follow-up, are asking them to consider a plasma donation.
“When someone goes to give blood.org or fills out one of our question forms or calls one of our donor advocates, we’re approaching them just like a regular plasma donation. What it turns into is a convalescent plasma donation at one of our centers.
If that rings a bell and you want to help, go to their website here and fill out a convalescent plasma donor form. Once you’re done, they’ll contact you for screening. You can call the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s donor advocate number at 713-791-6608 Monday through Friday 8am to 4pm..
“The Fight Is In Us” coalition, including Houston medical participants, are using the plasma donation in clinical trials for direct transfusions into those who need it most, and are developing a medicine known as hyperimmune globulin (H-lg) which is being manufactured now and will be available for clinical trials in the summer.
The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is holding a donation drive at NRG Center next Thursday and Friday, June 4 and 5th. You'll need to make an appointment first.