EL CENTRO — People who have been sick with COVID-19 are being called upon to assist in treating patients who are critically ill from the disease.
LifeStream Blood Bank is partnering with El Centro Regional Medical Center and Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District next month to collect plasma for recovered COVID patients.
The first drive will be held Aug. 3 at Pioneers Memorial Hospital, 207 W. Legion Road, in Brawley from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The second will be at ECRMC’s Medical Office Building at 1271 Ross Ave. from noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 4.
Research has indicated that plasma from recovered COVID patients could assist in the recovery of patients who are critically ill. That’s because “convalescent plasma” may contain antibodies that could help sick patients fight the disease.
COVID convalescent plasma (CCP) donation is a relatively simple procedure (similar to giving blood) and usually takes less than an hour. Donated plasma may be used to help up to two to three patients. It usually takes two weeks after a positive COVID-19 test for these antibodies to be present in the plasma.
“As more Southern Californians have become infected in recent weeks, the demand for this unique blood product has greatly increased,” said Dr. Joe Chaffin, LifeStream’s chief medical officer. “The need is urgent, and we urge those who may be eligible to find out today if they qualify to donate”.
Potential CCP donors must be referred to LifeStream through a COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor form. The referring physician/licensed healthcare provider will need to document all information on the form as well as submit copies of test results that are applicable to the donor’s current status. The donor should also be deemed non-infectious and be symptom free for at least 14 days.
Additionally, potential donors are required to complete a pre-screening questionnaire. All information provided will be reviewed by LifeStream’s Medical Services team to determine eligibility of donor. This pre-screening questionnaire does not determine final eligibility.
The donor will need to pass all physical screening and health history criteria on the day of donation in order to be deemed a safe and eligible donor.
Upon completion, the COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor form, supportive test results, and COVID-19 convalescent plasma pre-screening tool can be submitted via email to covidplasma@LStream.org or faxed to (909) 386-6817.
The donor will be contacted by LifeStream Medical Services staff for review of information provided and scheduling of donation appointment.
Donors cannot schedule themselves and or walk in. Donors are eligible to donate plasma by automated collection at least every 28 days and in some cases, as soon as every seven days.
Convalescent plasma donor packets can be found by visiting LStream.org/covidplasma and by calling (800) 879-4484.
As an additional resource, an informational resource table and packet pick-up and drop-off location will be available today through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. inside the ECRMC Medical Office Building.
Thursday is the final day to submit the donor packet.