The San Diego Blood Bank has seen a sharp increase in hospital orders for COVID-19 convalescent plasma and is calling for support from those recovered from COVID-19 to donate.
According to the blood bank, orders have more than tripled in the last month and they have also been called upon to help supply national surge centers in anticipation of a spike in usage across the country.
The San Diego Blood Bank was one of the first blood banks in the county to begin collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
Plasma donations from those who have recovered from COVID-19 are needed to help others who are currently fighting the virus. This is because their plasma has developed antibodies against a virus.
Convalescent plasma has been successfully used to treat SARS, MERS, and the Spanish flu, so there is evidence that it may help people suffering from certain infectious diseases like COVID-19, according to the blood bank.
“We need anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 to contact us to see if they are eligible to donate their plasma,” said David Wellis, CEO of San Diego Blood Bank. “The need has already increased over the last couple of weeks and we anticipate even more requests from hospitals as we head into the new year.”
The blood bank said, all blood donations are being tested for antibodies as part of thier standard testing panel in order to qualify donations for COVID-19 convalescent plasma. If a donation tests positive, the plasma in the donated blood may be used to help hospital patients fighting COVID-19.