Convalescent plasma: Please donate blood or components and help.

Lulu Smith

From the Mayo Clinic who is running trials using convalescent plasma treatment. Please donate plasma if you can.

I think the LA Times created a sensational headline and jumped to a conclusion before the medical community. And we know what happens if we get ahead of the science!

Convalescent plasma (kon-vuh-LES-unt PLAZ-muh) therapy is an experimental treatment that some doctors are using for people with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

No drug has been proved to be safe and effective for treating COVID-19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn't approved any drugs specifically to treat people with COVID-19.

But, people who've recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies — proteins the body uses to fight off infections — to the disease in their blood. The blood from people who've recovered is called convalescent plasma. Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood.

Researchers hope that convalescent plasma can be given to people with severe COVID-19 to boost their ability to fight the virus. It also might help keep people who are moderately ill from becoming more ill and experiencing COVID-19 complications.

If you've had COVID-19 and recovered from it, consider donating blood through the American Red Cross or your local donation center. Either can provide information about the donation process.

Convalescent plasma therapy may be helpful for people with COVID-19 who aren't helped by other treatments. Some people with COVID-19 become very sick and don't respond to other treatments or drugs. These people often develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) — a severe lung condition. They often require mechanical assistance, such as a ventilator, to breathe. These people also are in danger of developing organ failure.

It could also help other people who may have a higher risk of serious illness, such as people with chronic medical conditions, for example, heart disease or diabetes, or those who have weakened immune systems. Convalescent plasma could help these people from getting sicker if they get COVID-19.

Convalescent plasma might also be considered for family members or health care workers who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 to potentially prevent them from getting COVID-19.

Doctors may choose to enroll the person with COVID-19 in an expanded access program and order convalescent plasma for him or her. This type of program provides access to investigational new drugs outside of clinical trials. This type of program is sometimes necessary when a disease is very severe or life-threatening, and there is no available treatment.

It's not yet known if convalescent plasma therapy will be an effective treatment for COVID-19.

The collective results from people receiving convalescent plasma therapy can provide information about the effectiveness of the therapy and whether it can become an approved therapy to treat COVID-19. In preliminary treatment, many people have benefited from convalescent plasma therapy. Researchers continue to evaluate the results from people who received the therapy.

By studying results of this therapy for COVID-19, doctors are getting closer to finding a treatment. In addition, learning more about the use of convalescent plasma therapy now will help health care workers be better prepared to provide optimal patient care.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/convalescent-plasma-therapy/about/pac-20486440

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KarenS, NYC

Lulu,

Have you read what all is Involved? Who is eligible to donate (1) blood & (2) convalescent plasma? I just read it all.

It is nowhere near as simple as one might think. There are many things which can make one ineligible to give either one.

I was a plasma donor for 2 yrs. when I was in college, admittedly 40 yrs. ago.

But still, women (1) were less able to donate than men due to smaller blood vessels in general; (2) required a minimum body weight of 120 lbs & (3) could not donate while menstruating.

It was thought at the time that it took 48 hrs. to replace the 1/2 pint plasma one donated.

The drill was you donate 1 pint whole blood, they spin it in a centerfuge to separate the components. The clear or lt. yellow plasma rises to the surface, the red blood cells sink down to the bottom of the bag & are brought back to the donor, to be re-infused into their arm.

Also one needs to be fairly well & healthy, which likely recently sick people are not.

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foodonastump

One of my neighbors who got it early on in March jokingly commented at the time that he was donating so much he was afraid there were no antibodies left for him. So they’ve been collecting for a while.

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bob_cville

If only there were some national organized effort to promote this it could help and prevent some deaths. Oh wait, there isn't a nationally organized effort to do anything regarding the pandemic. Because dear leader, in his own words, 'refuses to take responsibility for this', and has done little more than lie repeatedly, and cross his fingers and hope it will go away.

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Lulu Smith

bob: are you doing or talking?

have you donated blood or plasma? or are you just complaining and ranting?

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foodonastump

^^^

Has Bob had CV? You do realize this is for people who’ve recovered from it, yes? I don’t recall anyone on HT saying they’ve had it.

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Lulu Smith

Anyone can try to donate blood and plasma. If it tests negative for antibodies, people still need blood, especially since blood drives have been canceled. Everyone should try to go to their local blood bank and donate blood. There is rarely enough blood stored.

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foodonastump

Of course. But that wasn’t the topic of this thread.

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maifleur03

Lulu you need to look at the criteria for who can donate blood and plasma since not anyone can donate.

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Ziemia(6a)

"Anyone can donate blood and plasma."

Nope. Any donor knows that isn't true.

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Lulu Smith

Fixed: added "try". Very annoying. I can't tell you are trying to be a wordsmith or trivializing a vital function: donating blood. OK here we go:

Everyone should try to donate blood and/or plasma and/or platelets. Whilst not everyone can donate, it would be beneficial to all if you would try to donate. This is vital not only to the plasma project, but to alleviate shortages at blood banks due to the cancellation of many blood drives.

Who's unhappy now? Who's against donating blood and/or its components?

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bob_cville

I have not had COVID-19 so donating plasma wouldn't help this effort.

A close friend did have COVID-19 and was sicker than she has ever been in her life for about three weeks. Afterwards she tried -- repeatedly -- to get tested for antibodies, and to donate plasma. After two weeks of trying she was finally able to get tested and was shown to have had a high antibody count. But her efforts to then donate plasma containing these antibodies both through the Red Cross and Virginia Blood Services were stymied by them saying they were unwilling to do so since there was no demand to actually use the plasma.

So yes I am doing nothing, except sheltering and masking when I go out. Then again it is not my job to do anything about a nationwide health pandemic. But even though I am doing nothing to help in this crisis I'm still doing about as much as the entire executive branch of the federal government, which is not only not doing anything constructive, is taking actions to stymie others' efforts to combat the disease, and promoting policies that are actively making thing worse.

If rather than being a microscopic virus affecting the country and instead it were some human enemy, the administrations efforts that are assisting the virus' spread, and thwarting state efforts to combat it, it would be considered aiding and abetting an enemy of the United States which is treason.

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Molly D.

As a nurse and Red Cross volunteer, please go to this link for information. Right now Red Cross is testing all blood donations for antibodies to Covid 19 and informing the donor thru their account on the app. Regardless, we need all types of blood as many drives have been cancelled this year due to Covid, and we always need more. Covid-19 doesn’t diminish the need for all types of blood donations used in surgeries, accidents, cancer treatment, etc. Thank you! https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/plasma-donations-from-recovered-covid-19-patients.html

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Molly D.

https://www.redcross.org/give-blood.html

For donation information, eligibility and to schedule an appointment!

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Lulu Smith

Thank you Molly. I tried to get people to donate what was possible, but there appears to be resistance. Hopefully, your appeal will succeed where mine failed.

I'll repeat:

Everyone should try to donate blood and/or plasma and/or platelets. Whilst not everyone can donate, it would be beneficial to all if you would try to donate. This is vital not only to the plasma project, but to alleviate shortages at blood banks due to the cancellation of many blood drives.

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KarenS, NYC

Thank you Molly for a MEDICAL opinion & some specific, relevant knowledge.

ELIGIBILITY, is key. Many things can render someone ineligible to donate, including the use of many commonly prescribed meds.

So Lulu, thanks for amending it to TRY to donate.

At least folks could check online to see if any of their current meds or medical conditions rule them out.

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KarenS, NYC

Curiosity about a medication I take, caused me to look it up. This is a list of meds (for the RedCross Blood.org) which MAY render someone ineligible to donate.

Example: commonly used Blood Thinners like Coumadin, Heparin, etc. are on there.

https://www.redcrossblood.org/content/dam/redcrossblood/missing-documents/3468_Medication-Deferral-List.pdf

Yes, pls do TRY, but also, do not underestimate what a complex issue this is.

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maifleur03

Lulu while the tests have changed I know I have not been able to donate because of various physical restrictions. If I could not there are others that can not. Better for people to be aware of the restrictions rather than to take time off, go to a center complete the paperwork, wait perhaps for hours only to be told that they do not qualify. It has nothing to do with being a wordsmith or any of the insulting things you mentioned but a desire that someone not suggest something that was false.

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HamiltonGardener

Just to speak up here...

I think it was pretty obvious what Lulu meant.

They said to go donate...someone responded that the person had not had Covid, so could not donate antibody plasma. Lulu then came back with everyone can donate, obviously meaning those who have had Covid and those who have not had Covid, because blood donations are needed for both convalescent plasma as well as other emergencies.

Seriously, that was nitpicking just for the sake of nitpicking.

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KarenS, NYC

Mai,

If I may (we are on the same page), I think you may have meant to say:

Better for people to be aware of the restrictions rather than to take time off, go to a center complete the paperwork, wait perhaps for hours only to be told that they do [NOT] qualify.

Bracketed text is my suggestion. So easy to make slips like that, I've done so myself.

Also, maybe folks forget going to donation centers potentially exposes donors to other people who MAY have Covid or other illnesses.

Best to check online first please.


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maifleur03

Thanks KarenS. It is a hot button for me since my then employer insisted the same thing even when told no and given the documentation. Insisted I go or basically look for another job. I was the only one that day from the company who did not give blood that was not paid for that day.

Not a good excuse for this one but if you see some strange typing I am using a new computer where the keys have are arranged in more of a triangle. I am also used to the Enter key being larger than the Shift key.

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foodonastump

Wow, 1997 was the last time I donated. I remember being rejected sometime after that and I guess I never went back. Probably tattoo or piercing related, based on the year. Anyway thank you Lulu and Molly, I’m donating tomorrow.

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Molly D.

Thank you everyone expressing a desire to donate! The Red Cross follows strict social distancing during donation, temperatures are checked when entering the building, and masks are worn by the donors and the staff. As mentioned, the Red Cross website gives information on eligibility and a number to call if you have specific questions about your eligibility to donate!

(Photo taken by my neighbor that came around taking “porch portraits” during Coronavirus lockdown)

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foodonastump

Red Cross doesn’t have anything in this area so I went to the aabb link further up. All those years back I asked about getting on the bone marrow list but they seemed uninterested in giving me information on how to go about that. I’ll try to find out about anything else they may want. My father used to give platelets very regularly, apparently something about his were particularly helpful for babies.

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Izzy Mn(4)

FOAS, your father probably had O- blood. I recently found out my brother has that blood type and is called up frequently, basically has a monthly appointment to come in to donate. O- is a universal donor, any blood type can receive it. It's especially used with newborns. Only about 8% have that blood type. Problem is, they can only receive O- blood.

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Lulu Smith

Thank you to all those who are supporting giving blood or its components. Convalescent plasma donation is only a part of the need for blood donations. There is an ongoing need for donations, especially since blood drives have been suspended. Please contact your local blood agency about donations. The American Red Cross is not the only agency that operates blood banks.

OneBlood is a blood agency that serves Florida and parts of other southern states.

You can make appointments to make a whole blood, platelets, plasma, or double red cell donation. https://www.oneblood.org/donate-now/

Learn about it here: https://www.oneblood.org/about-donating/

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lionheart_gw (USDA Zone 5A, Eastern NY)

Yeah, people with rh negative blood get called more often to donate blood. Sometimes you feel like they are frequently spamming you with requests. The day you are eligible to donate again, they are calling. You begin to dread that call.

The only "good" thing about it is, if you are rh negative and there is a dire need for blood, they will move you to the head of the line. They don't want you to change your mind when lines are long. Can't let an rh neg get away. :-)

As to the plasma thing, another problem that can occur in women donors is that they may have HLA antibodies as a result of pregnancies. The more pregnancies you've had (whether they result in a child or not), the more likely you are to have the antibodies. Maybe as many as 25% of women who have had multiple pregnancies will have these antibodies.

If you're a woman with HLA antibodies, you cannot donate plasma. These antibodies can create havoc and even death in recipients who are immuno compromised, such as neonates and transplant patients. You will be unceremoniously rejected for plasma donation if you have these antibodies.

You can still donate blood, however.

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maifleur03

It may not longer be true but to go with lionheart's post much of the call for rh negative is for new born babies. At one time it was needed until the baby could receive a complete blood transfusion based on what a friend was told. Her baby was fine and did not need the transfusion.

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foodonastump

Yep my father is A-.

Just a heads up that while Molly’s link says the Red Cross is currently testing all donations for antibodies, apparently that’s not standard across the “industry.” NY Blood Center is not. I didn’t donate for the test so I don’t really care, just thought I’d clarify for anyone interested.

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Ziemia(6a)

"I can't tell you are trying to be a wordsmith or trivializing.."

Not wordsmithing. Saying something is incorrect is not wordsmithing.

Modifiers are great and useful words.

PS : also NOT nitpicking

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Ziemia(6a)

Yes do donate if you are not already prescribed from doing so. Some of us are unable to meet the requirements.

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bob_cville

So the Red Cross needs blood. True. They always need blood. Given that blood drives have been mostly cancelled their usual need for an ongoing supply has become even more acute. However that means going to a Red Cross facility or hospital or some such, and crowding in with the employees and other donors.

So while donating blood, in general, would be beneficial, given that I have not had COVID 19 and therefore do not have antibodies against it, and given that going to a donation center would raise the risk of exposure for me, by some small amount which would then increase the spread of the disease, I am actually doing more to help in the fight against COVID-19 by not donating my antibody-free blood, and not infinitesimally increasing the spread of the disease.

But that's not what the original post was about. It was about donating antibody-containing plasma to directly help treat those with the disease. And I posted my relevant second-hand information of someone who did have the disease and who tried repeatedly to donate plasma, only to be told no thanks. So until something is done to organize and coordinate the demand for actually using antibody containing plasma, encouraging people to donate such, is pointless.

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KarenS, NYC

So the pls enlighten us: What IS Your Point?

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Lulu Smith

Karen this is for you since you don't understand all the previous postings:

Everyone should try to donate blood and/or its components if they can. Blood is always needed and blood drives have been suspended.

Please donate to the blood bank in honor and memory of Dr. Charles Drew.

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bob_cville

Encouraging people to go out and give blood at the same locations where other people are trying to donate COVID-19 antibody-containing could possibly be of more harm than benefit.

Given that people who expect to donate COVID-19 antibody containing plasma have reason to believe they have had COVID-19 and believe they are recovered from it. Its possible that the first is true -- they have antibodies -- with the second being false -- they still have and can spread the virus. So those you are encouraging to give blood so at least they can feel like they are doing something may well be walking into a active hotspot, and consequentially contract the virus and then spread it to many others.

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Lulu Smith

bob: If you are too afraid to donate blood, just say so. I've addressed every objection you have posted. But I guess you'll keep coming up with reasons not to help. I'm glad you keep posting because it keeps this thread at the top of the list.

Safety Procedures:

Safe to Donate Blood

The top priority of OneBlood is the safety of our donors, team members and blood recipients. Masks are required to be worn by all blood donors. You may wear your own or we will provide one for you if needed. All blood centers are regulated by the FDA and must follow strict guidelines on how they operate. OneBlood meets all FDA guidelines and all team members follow strict safety protocols including:

  • All OneBlood phlebotomists wear masks
  • All OneBlood phlebotomists wear medical gloves that are changed for each donation.
  • All donor-touched areas and equipment are disinfected after every donation. This includes, donor beds, registration tablets, blood-pressure cuff and hemoglobin sensors.
  • A sterile collection set is used for every donation.
  • Every donor receives a mini-physical that includes a temperature check to ensure donors are healthy and well on the day of donation.
  • Only people who are healthy are eligible to donate blood.

Social Distancing at Blood Drives and Donor Centers

OneBlood has implemented additional social distancing safety protocols including:

  • Mobile Locations: Only a certain number of people will be permitted on the Big Red Bus at any one time. Donors will be asked to provide their cell phone number so they can wait in their car or outside the bloodmobile. They will be called when it is their turn to come aboard the bus to donate blood.
  • Donor Centers: Donors can wait in the donor center, but will need to maintain a safe distance between other donors or they can wait in their car and they will be called when it is their turn to donate.
  • Please be aware that we do NOT test for COVID-19. You should contact your health care provider if you want to be tested.

https://www.oneblood.org/lp/oneblood-covid-19.stml

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KarenS, NYC

Yes, pls try to donate, but Best to Check Online First Please for Eligibility.

I do understand & I was w/ you EXCEPT for your repeated oversimplification of the issues.

You've been shown REPEATEDLY it's not as simple as you're making, nor as desirable (apparently) or UNPROBLEMATIC as you have put forth.

Maybe you haven't heard the latest thinking about antibodies that's been released in the last 2 days:

It could be that antibody immunity weakens, wears down or even wears off after 2-3 weeks.

Things seem to be getting kind of obtuse here, I agreed w/ you w/ qualifications.

I don't think anyone has said DON'T DONATE, so pls. calm the he__ down already.

Keep beating it to death so hard, you may well alienate anybody who WAS thinking about it.

Why not take your cues from Molly? She posted helpful, detailed info & then moved on, understanding that from then on, it's up to folks and individuals' choices. Done.

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foodonastump

It could be that antibody immunity weakens, wears down or even wears off after 2-3 weeks.


“Could be.” OP mentions they’re running trials. Anyone who has time to be bickering on HT has time to find out about local needs and services. And to self-screen for eligibility. While I did want to question/clarify the topic shift, there’s nothing worth getting bent out of shape for here.

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Lulu Smith

American Red Cross still needs blood.

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Lulu Smith

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation.

https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/how-to-donate/how-blood-donations-help/blood-needs-blood-supply.html#:~:text=Every%20two%20seconds%20someone%20in%20the%20U.S.%20needs,starts%20with%20one%20person%20making%20a%20generous%20donation.

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Lulu Smith

Sorry Karen, but yes - I'm a vampire and I get a 10% cut of all the blood I steer their way.

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Lulu Smith

I donated whole blood today at local blood bank. Excellent hygiene and precautions. They don't even touch your ID, they just look at it and enter the data. You need an appointment. Free apple juice and cookies at the end!


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foodonastump

Wow it only took me two days to decide to do a good deed. Why’d it take you over a week?

(ETA I probably should add an emoji as I am kidding)

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