Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is urgently seeking survivors of COVID-19 who are willing to donate convalescent plasma because of a critical shortage.
Use of convalescent plasma in area hospitals has significantly increased in the last few weeks as the number of hospitalized patients has spiked. Between August and October, use of CCP increased 337 percent.
“With the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 increasing at an exponential rate, having supplies of convalescent plasma is more important than ever,” Steve Edwards, President and CEO of CoxHealth, and board member of CBCO, said in a statement. “We ask everyone in our community who is eligible to donate at Community Blood Center of the Ozarks. These donations can make a make a great difference, and your impact is local, as plasma stays here to help patients in our communities. These donations may ultimately help save the life of someone you know.”
CBCO is seeking donors because they are the only source for CCP in the region.
“We are the exclusive providers of convalescent plasma and all blood products to the area,” CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts said in a statement. “We are going to need to at least double our donation rates immediately to meet current needs. As the numbers of ill patients and CCP usage continue to climb, it is critically important now to give aid to local patients by giving to the local provider of blood for use in our community.”
CBCO is changing requirements to make it easier for patients to give. In the past, referrals from doctors were a requirement, but now someone just needs to present a positive test and proof of at least 14 days of recovery, and meet general donation requirements.
The FDA is also providing financial funding incentive for donors: up to a $100 Visa gift card for donations of CCP.
Appointments are required to donate. Contact CBCO at 417-227-5324.