Texas Blood Institute hits convalescent plasma milestone as COVID-19 cases surge

Texas Blood Institute hits convalescent plasma milestone as COVID-19 cases surge
The Texas Blood Institute announced Monday they have dispatched their 10,000th convalescent plasma unit. (Source: Texas Blood Institute Facebook page)

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Texas Blood Institute announced Monday they have dispatched their 10,000th convalescent plasma unit, which is a milestone they say marks how critical the blood product is in the fight against COVID-19.

The blood institute began to collect convalescent plasma back in April when it showed promise in treating patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms. It took three months for them to distribute their first thousand units of convalescent plasma. The last thousand units only took a week to distribute.

“We’ve seen demand for convalescent plasma increase exponentially as our community hospitals grapple with an enormous surge of COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Texas Blood Institute. “We have collected convalescent plasma from more than 1,530 donors so far—many coming in to give multiple times, but we need plenty more to come forward if we are to continue meeting the skyrocketing demand. The fact that our blood center has surpassed 10,000 hospital requests for this product shows just how essential it and its source donors are.”

Seriously ill COVID-19 patients are more likely to see a better outcome the earlier they receive convalescent plasma.

Anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 or has tested positive for the antibodies is eligible to give convalescent plasma.

The Texas Blood Institute says a single plasma donation can provide transfusions for up to four COVID-19 patients.

In order to donate convalescent plasma, donors must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a positive COVID-19 test result
  • Be symptom free for 14 days
  • Be at least seven days past their last blood or plasma donation

Donating takes about 90 minutes to complete and donors are eligible as often as every seven days.

You can register to donate convalescent plasma by calling (888) 308-3924 or visiting by clicking here.

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