While the vaccine rolls out nationwide, there is still a big demand for a COVID treatment proving effective now in hospitals.
The convalescent plasma of those who have recovered from the virus contains COVID-fighting antibodies and is being given to patients at the hospital.
“As we have more experience with convalescent plasma, we realize giving it early is probably the best strategy because you prevent someone from getting to their sickest point,” said Dr. John Armitage, director of the Oklahoma Blood Institute.
Right now, convalescent plasma is helping to free up beds in crowded COVID hospital units.
You can donate plasma 14 days after last showing COVID-19 symptoms.
After providing proof of a positive COVID test and going through a 15 to 20 minute screening process, you’re ready to help.
One convalescent plasma donation can help up to four COVID-19 patients.
“Uniquely it’s only people who have recovered from the virus that can help the others,” said Armitage.
Donating convalescent plasma takes longer than donating blood.
News 9's Karl Torp donated last week and was told beforehand the donation would last 53 minutes.
Through one needle, blood is take out, a machine separates plasma, and then your blood is returned.
After seven days, a convalescent plasma donor can donate again.
The antibodies in someone who has recovered from COVID can last for several months.
OBI said donors who recovered from COVID in the spring and summer may still be carrying the antibodies.
News 9 and the Oklahoma Blood Institute are teaming up for a convalescent blood drive. The information is below:
Hope for the Holidays
Convalescent Plasma Drive
Science Museum Oklahoma
Wednesday, December 23
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Donors must sign up online at obi.org/plasma, and OBI will contact you to schedule your spot.
Donors will receive a free long-sleeved T-shirt and be entered for a chance to win $1,000!