By Sharon Aron Baron
Several NFL players with the Miami Dolphins who recovered from COVID-19 boarded OneBlood’s Big Red Bus to donate convalescent plasma to help patients still fighting the virus.
Dolphins running back Malcolm Perry was one of those.
“I was surprised initially but was happy because I was presented with the opportunity to give back and donate plasma and help people in need,” he said. “Being able to give back to people who weren’t fortunate enough to react the same way you did to the virus and give back to the community was important.”
As COVID-19 cases surge, the need for convalescent plasma is reaching extraordinary levels. OneBlood the not-for-profit blood center serving Florida, and much of the southeastern United States is experiencing more than a 500 percent increase in hospital orders for COVID-19 convalescent plasma and has issued a call to action for people who have recovered from the virus to become convalescent plasma donors.
Susan Forbes, senior vice president of corporate communications and public relations for OneBlood said convalescent plasma is needed now more than ever. As quickly as donations come in, they are being processed, tested, and rushed to hospitals.
“We are grateful to the Dolphins for their partnership and helping create awareness for people who have recovered from COVID-19 to become convalescent plasma donors. These donors hold the potential key in helping patients still fighting the virus to recover.”
Those who have recovered from the coronavirus have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood. By transfusing plasma from a person who has recovered from COVID-19 into a patient still fighting the virus, it can boost their immune system and potentially help them recover. People who have recovered from the coronavirus are urged to visit www.oneblood.org to register to become a convalescent plasma donor. Appointments are required.
OneBlood is also testing all blood donations for the COVID-19 antibody. The antibody test is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms.
Donors will be able to see their results approximately two to five days after donating by logging into their donor portal at www.oneblood.org. Donors who test positive for the antibody will be eligible to become COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors.
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