How can my plasma help other patients?
While COVID-19 has no proven treatment, plasma donated by those who have recovered (called convalescent plasma) may help patients fighting COVID-19. This is because your body has developed antibodies against the virus. Historically, convalescent plasma has been successfully used to treat similar diseases such as the Spanish Flu, SARS, MERS, and H1N1.
How do I qualify to donate convalescent plasma?
The first step is to fill out a form at scbloodbank.org/donateplasma to express interest.
You may qualify if you had:
Donors must also meet the standard requirements for blood donation and will be screened at the time of donation.
Can I donate convalescent plasma if I receive the vaccine?
At this time, donors who have received a COVID-19 vaccine are not eligible to donate convalescent plasma. Please sign up at SCBloodBank.org/donateplasma so we may contact you if and when this changes.
Does getting the vaccine give you COVID-19 antibodies?
After receiving the vaccine, you may test positive for antibodies; however, you are not eligible to donate convalescent plasma at this time. The FDA is working on updating guidelines, as more information about the vaccines and convalescent plasma donation become available. Until then, those who have recovered from COVID-19 and those that have been vaccinated may donate whole blood, plasma, or platelets, which are greatly needed.
Where can I donate?
Once you are qualified, Southern California Blood Bank staff will help you find a convenient location.
What if I don’t have a copy of my test results?
Southern California Blood Bank can work with your healthcare provider to obtain proper records.
How many people will my donation help?
Each plasma donation is usually 800-1000 mL and one dose for a COVID-19 patient is 200-250 mL. Your donation can help as many as 3-4 people fight this virus!
What is the process for donating plasma?
Plasma is donated through a process called apheresis. Your blood is collected and processed in real time to separate the plasma and return the rest of the blood components (red blood cells and platelets) back to you. The entire process, including registration and recovering in the canteen area for 15 minutes post donation takes approximately 75 minutes.
When I donate plasma do I lose all my antibodies that help my own immunity?
Much like regular blood and plasma donation, only some of the circulating antibodies are collected from COVID convalescent plasma (CCP) donation. The vast majority of cells which make antibodies are maintained by the donor. There is no clinical evidence to support an adverse impact on immunocompetence in blood donors.
How often can I donate plasma?
Normal plasma donation intervals are every 4 weeks. Depending on how much is donated at one time, you may be able to donate convalescent plasma more frequently. Southern California Blood Bank will work with you directly to determine what is appropriate.