The American Red Cross is urging folks who have fully recovered from COVID to donate blood plasma, a crucial element in helping currently hospitalized COVID patients fight the virus.
As the U.S. continues to often see over 200,000 new daily cases, the need for blood and plasma donations is more urgent than ever to help save lives.
Convalescent plasma, the liquid part of the blood that contains antibodies produced to fight off infections and viruses, is at a shortage in hospitals around the country. Distribution has increased about 250% since October. The substance can help boost COVID patients’ immune systems, giving them a tool to try and beat the virus.
Red Cross is teaming up with the National Football League to offer donors the chance to win two tickets to next year’s Super Bowl in Los Angeles.
While they are specifically calling COVID survivors to action, the Red Cross needs any and all blood and plasma donations. Many blood drives have been cancelled across the country since the onset of the pandemic to promote social distancing, and shortages only multiply in the winter as the holiday season and colder weather discourage folks from donating.
The Red Cross is also testing all blood and plasma donations for COVID antibodies—so even if you didn’t know you had the virus, you could still help to save the life of a current COVID patient.
Eligible convalescent plasma donors must have had a prior COVID diagnosis, and must be symptom-free for 14 days.
Schedule an appointment to give blood or plasma at redcrossblood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Or, click here and input your zip code to find the closest donation center near you.
For more information, visit fda.gov/donate-covid-19-plasma or redcross.org/covid-19-survivors-urged-to-donate-plasma-to-help-those-battling-coronavirus.