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Sustained Donor Response Needed to Meet Unprecedented Demand for Convalescent Plasma

Sustained Donor Response Needed to Meet Unprecedented Demand for Convalescent Plasma

(July 30, 2020 – Orlando, Florida)  On the heels of a national call to action for people who have recovered from COVID-19 to become convalescent plasma donors, OneBlood, the not-for-profit blood center serving Florida, North Carolina and much of the southeastern United States says a sustained donor response is needed to meet the unprecedented demand from hospitals requesting convalescent plasma.

“The need for convalescent plasma has reached extraordinary levels and it is going to remain that way for the foreseeable future”, said Susan Forbes, OneBlood senior vice president of corporate communications and public relations.  “To ensure a ready convalescent plasma supply it’s important that people who have recovered from COVID-19 donate each time they are eligible.  These donors are playing a lead role in helping COVID-19 patients recover and they are needed for the long haul”, said Forbes.

A surge in COVID-19 cases combined with the fact hospitals are providing convalescent plasma earlier in treatment is driving demand to new heights. OneBlood is one of the largest blood centers in the country and has seen more than a 500% increase in hospital orders for convalescent plasma in recent weeks.

“The need for convalescent plasma is now and it is ongoing. It is an all hands on deck situation at OneBlood. As quickly as donations come in they are being processed, tested, and rushed to hospitals” said Forbes.

People who have recovered from the coronavirus have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood.  By transfusing plasma from a person who has recovered from COVID-19 into a patient still fighting the virus, it can boost their immune system and potentially help them recover.

Plasma can be donated every 28 days. People who have recovered from the coronavirus are urged to visit to see if they meet the eligibility requirements to be a convalescent plasma donor. Appointments are required.   

Convalescent Plasma Donor Eligibility Requirements

In addition to meeting all FDA donor eligibility to be a blood donor, COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors must have complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior to donation and provide one of the following:

  • Provide prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test or a letter from a hospital  confirming a COVID-19 diagnosis
  • OR, provide a positive serological test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies

OneBlood Testing All Blood Donations for COVID-19 Antibody

OneBlood is also testing all blood donations for the COVID-19 antibody.  The antibody test is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms.  Donors will be able to see their results approximately two to five days after donating by logging into their donor portal at  Donors who test positive for the antibody will be eligible to become COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors.

Generally healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate blood. Photo ID is required. To learn more about the importance of blood donation and how donors can target the power of their blood type visit All donors receive a wellness checkup of blood pressure, pulse, temperature and iron count, including a cholesterol screening, plus a surprise gift.

One of three people will need blood in their lifetime. Blood that is donated today will likely be transfused within two to three days. The turn-around is that fast, the need is constant.

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