RI Blood Center Calls for Donations from Recovered COVID-19 Patients to Build Public Bank of Convalescent Plasma for New Treatment
Antibodies may help those with severe infections
RHODE ISLAND – Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) is calling for recovered COVID-19 patients to donate blood plasma to help treat other patients with advanced illness. In the treatment, known as convalescent plasma, the patient is transfused with the donor’s plasma with the goal of using the donor’s antibodies to help clear the virus more rapidly and help decrease the need for ICU beds and ventilators.
RIBC is now increasing the nation’s supply of convalescent plasma by collecting donations from those who have recovered from COVID-19. RIBC will collect, process the plasma for infusion, and maintain a bank for hospitals to treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.
“As COVID-19 has impacted areas across the country, we are collecting convalescent plasma from those who have recovered in order to treat patients currently fighting this terrible disease,” said Beau Tompkins, Senior Executive Director, of Rhode Island Blood Center. “Our goals is to begin collecting and maintaining a bank of convalescent plasma in order to serve hospitals in the area.”
Donors must have proof of having tested positive for COVID-19 and be symptom-free for 14 days. One donation can be used to treat two to three patients struggling with severe cases of COVID-19. Interested donors can fill out a form at ribc.org/cpdonors.
- How can a hospital obtain convalescent plasma for their patients?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about convalescent plasma donor inventory for hospitals.
- How can a physician obtain access to CP to treat COVID-19?
Email email@example.com to inquire about convalescent plasma donor inventory for health care providers.
- What is Convalescent Plasma (CP)?
• CP is the liquid part of blood that is collected from individuals who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection.
• Antibodies present in CP are proteins that might help the recipient fight the infection.
- How can a person recovered from COVID-19 start the process of donating?
Click here: ribc/cpdonor.. Read through the donor FAQ and submit a form for review if you think you qualify to donate.
• Individuals must have had a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test. The information on how to get that documentation in Rhode Island is available on the page.
• Individuals must have fully recovered from COVID-19, with complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days before donation of CP.
• Individuals must also qualify for all normal FDA blood donation criteria once it has been determined they are a candidate for CP donation.
- How is CP used?
The patient is transfused with the donor’s plasma with the goal of using the donor’s antibodies to help clear the virus more rapidly and help decrease the need for ICU beds and ventilators.
- What are the criteria for patients to receive CP?
Serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, as established by the FDA IND.
- Is CP an approved treatment for COVID-19 patients?
• Not yet. Because there are no approved treatments, FDA is permitting the emergency investigational use of CP to treat COVID-19 under the criteria of the emergency IND.
• While it is not known if CP is safe and effective against COVID-19, there is anecdotal evidence that CP might be for some patients.
• Further investigation is still necessary to determine if CP might shorten the duration of illness, reduce morbidity, or prevent death associated with COVID-19.
- Is CP transfusions safe?
That is being studied under the eIND; however, plasma transfusions are generally safe and well-tolerated by most patients but can cause allergic reactions and other side effects.
- How many patients can one donation help?
One donation can be used to treat two to three patients struggling with severe cases of COVID-19.
- How often can a person donate?
Every 28 days.
- What is the shelf-life of a CP donation?
It is the same as a regular plasma donation, which can be frozen and expires one year from the date of collection.
- Where does it go immediately after it is collected?
The donation is tested and processed at Rhode Island Blood Center’s state-of-the-art laboratory in Providence.
- Where are the donations going?
Directly into RIBC's general inventory for hospitals to order from us.
- How can a hospital obtain CP for patients?
Email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What if a person thinks they had it but did not get a confirmed test – can they still donate?
Not at this time.
- Why is RIBC collecting CP?
Rhode Island Blood Center is a division of New York Blood Center who has been at the forefront of CP donations to help people battling COVID-19. Our shared goal is to increase the nation’s supply of CP and begin to maintain an inventory hospital customers can order to treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.