TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Red Cross of Southern Arizona is still looking for convalescent plasma from those who have had COVID –19 to help others who are still fighting the virus.
Executive Director Courtney Slanaker says they’re still in desperate need of blood and convalescent plasma. The organization teamed up with the FDA to help make it happen. Workers take the blood draw from donors, remove the plasma and then put the blood back into your body.
"We’re testing every single blood product right now for COVID-19 antibodies.
Over the last few months since October, we’ve seen a 250% increase in the demand for convalescent plasma,” Slanaker said.
It’s especially important for those who have had COVID-19 to donate the process takes about 45 minutes to complete. Slanaker tells KGUN 9 that donations are used both locally and all across the country and that one donation can help multiple people.
"If you have had a verified diagnosis of covid-19 or get a positive covid-19 antibody test from donating blood. That plasma potentially has antibodies that can help current critically ill COVID-19 patients,” Slanaker said.
According to the Red Cross of Southern Arizona the organization supplies about 90% of the blood and plasma that’s given out in Tucson. Slanaker also says donors she spoke to are more than happy to do their part. Adding that the Red Cross distributed over 125,000 convalescent products since the start of the pandemic.
“They tell me their stories of recovery from COVID –19 and they say it's my duty now I’ve recovered. I’m one of the lucky ones. I made a full recovery I’m healthy now I can give back to those who are still fighting,” Slanaker said.
The NFL also made a contribution to the cause in honor of National Blood Donor Month.
"Anyone who donates will be entered for a chance to win Super Bowl tickets for next year. So, donate between now and January 30th or until January 20th and you can be entered for a chance to win a 65-inch television and $500 gift card towards food and fun," Slanaker said.