How COVID-19 Survivors Can Help Current Patients Win Their Fight
If you are a COVID-19 survivor, you have the ability to help other patients who are currently battling the virus.
UCHealth is looking for survivors to donate their convalescent plasma, which contains coronavirus antibodies that can help boost the immune system of patients presently suffering from COVID-19.
"The plasma is something that people can do right now to help. Those who have had the sickness and they have recovered, and they know what it was to be ill and be so severely ill, they can help others with a mere 90 minutes of their time," said Kaitlin Zobel, donor recruiter at Garth Englund Blood Centers, in our "Tuned In to NoCo" interview. "That 90 minutes can truly help someone in need. It's such an easy and efficient way to help."
90 minutes is about how long it takes to donate convalescent plasma, and the donation process is fairly simple.
Potential donors can reach out to Zobel by calling 970-495-8987, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, to schedule a pre-screening.
If deemed eligible, donors will then undergo one more in-person screening before settling down to make the physical donation.
However, eligibility requirements are much stricter for convalescent plasma donors than for blood donors.
In order to donate, a survivor must be symptom-free for two weeks prior to their donation, and they must have experienced legitimate COVID-19 symptoms, including a fever.
But, if a donor is eligible, they will be able to donate their plasma every week for two months, which can make a huge difference in the lives of current COVID-19 patients.
"The donor center is always looking for blood donors, platelet donors, plasma donors, and now...convalescent plasma donors," said Zobel. "Every single one of them plays a role in saving our patients' lives, and helping people recover and get back to their families quicker. Every donation is important."
To learn more about donating convalescent plasma, listen to the full "Tuned In to NoCo" interview with Kaitlin Zobel below.