Immediate need for convalescent plasma donors to help COVID-19 patients

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — As we continue navigating through this pandemic, there’s still a desperate need for blood donations. There’s also a need for convalescent plasma, which is one treatment being used to help patients battling a severe case of coronavirus.

“We need more convalescent plasma donors immediately,” said Allie Van Dyke, Media Coordinator with The Blood Connection. “We are anticipating a demand, and we want to make sure we can keep up with that demand. And we have had a couple weeks, consecutively, where we haven’t gotten the number of donations we would like to see.”

Plasma has helped some patients recover after a severe case of COVID-19.

“This has been a ‘treatment’ that doctors have been using for the virus, and there have been many cases where it has turned people around 180 degrees, and they’re much better because of it,” said Van Dyke.

As the number of positive cases increases in the state, so does the need for plasma.

“So even though we might seem fine today, we want to be in a place where if something were to happen tomorrow with a big spike in demand, we would be ready for it. And right now, we don’t feel very comfortable with what we have in stock so that’s why we’re putting this plea out to the community asking them to please come give,” said Van Dyke.

Each plasma donation can help several patients.

“What’s great about a plasma donation though is that we can get four units out of one donation, which means it can help up to four people,” said Van Dyke.

At first, you can donate plasma every two weeks up to four times. Then the break in between increases to six weeks.

“We have very loyal convalescent plasma donors right now who come two weeks on the dot. They cannot wait to give back. So we just need to find more people like that,” said Van Dyke.

Your convalescent plasma stays local, so your donation helps your neighbors and community members.

“If people want to make a local impact and they have the antibodies or they’ve had COVID-19, this is a great way to do that. It’s going directly to COVID-19 patients,” said Van Dyke.

For more information on donating blood or convalescent plasma, click here. 

To donate plasma in Columbia:

USC Campus
1409 Devine Street – Center for Health and Well Being
Rooms 215-217
Columbia, SC 29208
(864) 751-1168
Open M-F 11am-4pm.