Community Blood Center says convalescent plasma donations high, but still need more donors

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Six weeks ago, the Community Blood Center was the first in Ohio to collect plasma from recovered coronavirus patients, and they’re continuing to look for donors.

To date, the Community Blood Center has received 183 units of potentially lifesaving convalescent plasma from 58 donors.

Dr. James Alexander, the center’s Medical Director, said that the day prior, they had enough convalescent plasma to treat 90 patients. And he said the majority of that convalescent plasma stayed right here in the Miami Valley.

“We get between three to four units per donor, so that made it very reassuring to have that large of an inventory of this product that is in short supply across the country,” said Alexander. “But our community is doing very well.”

But Alexander said most of those are repeat donors.

So they need more recovered coronavirus patients because donors will have to take a break from donating eventually. But he added, interested donors need to set up an appointment first.

“If we don’t have proper staffing, if we don’t have a free plasmapheresis machine, we can’t collect, plus you need to be qualified by a physician,” said Alexander.

Alexander said their priority is local COVID-19 patients, but they have sent off excess supply of certain blood types to surrounding states because our area’s donations are doing so well.

And, he said since there is plenty of product locally, they are electing to stick with donors who tested positive for COVID-19 RNA, and not those who have tested positive for just antibodies.

“We could collect from donors that tested positive for antibodies but did not actually have antibodies, therefore it would not benefit the recipients,” said Alexander. “As the test gets even more and more sensitive, we may change our mind about that.”

For more information on how to qualify to be a donor, click here.

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