SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As COVID-19 cases have risen across the U.S., so has the need for convalescent plasma, leading to a nationwide shortage.
Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 may have antibodies in their plasma that could provide a patient’s immune system the boost it needs to beat the virus.
To help address the shortage of convalescent plasma this National Blood Donor Month, the American Red Cross is teaming up with the NFL to urge people, especially those who have recovered from COVID-19, to give now.
All who donate blood or platelets in January will be automatically entered to win two tickets to next year’s Super Bowl in Los Angeles.
In addition, those who come to give before Jan. 20 will also be automatically entered to win a “Big Game at Home” package, which includes a 65-inch television and a $500 gift card.
“Blood and plasma donors who have recovered from COVID-19 may have the power to help critically ill patients currently battling the virus,” Dr. Erin Goodhue, Red Cross medical director of clinical services said.
“With hospital distributions for convalescent plasma increasing about 250% since October, these generous donations are vital in helping to save lives throughout the winter—a time that is often challenging to collect enough blood products for those in need,” she added.
There are two ways COVID-19 survivors can help — through a convalescent plasma donation or by giving whole blood. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients.
“We want donors to know how much they’re appreciated for taking the time to come in and donate,” American Red Cross’ Cindi Bauer said. “There is always a need. I encourage people who haven’t donated yet to give it a shot so we have a safe and adequate blood supply for all of our patients.”