TUCSON, Ariz. — Banner Health is urging recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma for currently ill patients.
Banner Health is providing donation coordinators to assist with potential donors get through the plasma donation process in Tucson, metro Phoenix and Northern Colorado. The donation coordinators will help assess potential donors, answer questions and explain how the donation process works.
A single plasma donation can be used for multiple ill patients. Recovered COVID-19 patients may have possible immune-boosting antibodies in their blood called 'convalescent plasma," which can help critically ill patients, according to Banner Health.
“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for the recovered COVID-19 patients to donate their valuable plasma. The more information and assistance we can provide to put our recovered patients at ease and get them qualified quickly, the better, and our Donation Coordinators are equipped to do just that," Senior director of Operations with Banner Research Chad Jaeger said.
This week, he Banner University Medical Center, Tucson Blood Bank received the first unit of convalescent plasma for patients in the ICU.
The Food and Drug Administration recently allowed the transfusion of plasma a treatment its initial investigation stages. Right now, plasma is the only antibody treatment for COVID-19 patients.
Eligibility criteria for plasma donation include:
- Prior diagnosis of COVID-19
- Fully recovered and symptom-free for at least 14 days, as determined by a medical provider
- At least age 17 years old and weighing at least 110 pounds
- In good health and feeling well
Recovered COVID-19 patients can be referred directly to Vitalant or American Red Cross blood donation centers by their physician, and former patients who may meet the criteria can reach out to a Donation Coordinator for assistance Sara Knight, clinical trial senior manager, Banner Research call 520.903.8248 or email Sara.Knight@bannerhealth.com