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Convalescent Plasma (CP) Donor FAQs

What is the process for convalescent plasma (CP) donation?

Potential CP donors must complete the CP donor request form at ribc.org/cpdonor. A daytime phone number and email must be provided. It may take RIBC 3 to 5 days to contact the donor, given the volume of submissions and time needed for form review and approval.

Is SARS Cov2 the same as COVID-19?

Yes, SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 (the disease).

How long does CP donation take?

The actual time on the apheresis device is 45-50 minutes, but the total visit time, including medical screening, is about 75 minutes.

Can CP donors direct their donation to a family member who is ill from COVID-19?

RIBC is not doing directed donations. If donors donate through specific hospital programs (rather than directly with RIBC), those units are returned to that hospital. RIBC is focusing on building an inventory that can meet all patient needs.

How should CP donors prepare for donation?

Donors should eat food with high iron content, hydrate, and get a good night’s sleep before donating. Visit the Donation Preparation Process page for more information on how to prepare for donation.

Do donors need to wear a mask while donating?

Yes. Donors are being asked bring their own face covering or mask, but one can provided if needed. Face coverings do not need to be a surgical mask; it can be a scarf, bandana, or any cloth covering that covers your mouth and nose. 

What is the purpose of an antibody test in CP donors?

The purpose is to make sure that plasma collected from a CP donor actually contains the expected antibodies against the virus. The antibody testing will be performed with each plasma collection, not just with the first donation to make sure that the antibody is present.

Can CP donors find out their antibody test results?

No, RIBC does not share antibody results with donors.

How can CP donors find out their blood type? 

Donors can access their blood type in HemaConnect after creating a donor profile. This information should be available within 3 to 5 days post-donation.

What are the donor criteria for donating CP?

Donors must meet all standard allogeneic blood donor criteria, and thus may be deferred for reasons unrelated to COVID-19. In addition, they must be at least 14 days from the date of complete symptom resolution.

Is the deferral date set 14 days from the date of resolution of any symptoms related to COVID-19, or from the date of resolution of cough, fever, fatigue, or shortness of breath?

CP donors are asked to defer donation until they have been symptom-free for 14 days. Simply put, they should be afebrile (no fever), not feeling viremic (flu-like symptoms of muscle aches, pain and general tiredness) and free from cough. Donors are eligible to donate if they still lack return of sense of smell and taste (this is not counted in the 14 days asymptomatic).

What is the criteria for the CP donor's temperature?

Donors must meet all standard allogeneic blood donor criteria.  RIBC criteria for temperature is ≤ 99.4 °F.

Can CP donors who are diabetic still donate?

Yes, as long as the diabetes is well controlled. They should make sure to eat and hydrate prior to their appointment.

Can CP donors with sickle cell trait donate?

Yes, CP donors with sickle cell trait can donate.

What determines how much plasma is collected from a CP donor? 

The donors height, weight, and gender determine the amount we collect.

Can RIBC accept CP donors who did not get testing for diagnosis of COVID-19, but have positive antibody testing results? 

Yes, irrespective of re-testing results, donors are eligible to donate if they have been symptom-free for at least 14 days. 

Can RIBC accept CP donors who were completely asymptomatic with their COVID-19 infection? 

Yes—they are eligible to donate after being 14 days symptom-free.

Is there a deferral period for a CP donor who has been in close contact with someone that is positive for COVIC-19?

There are no contact-related deferrals for CP donors, including healthcare workers, because they are considered to be immune to re-infection while they have antibodies against the virus.

Can CP donors be reinfected with COVID-19?

Not likely as they have antibodies against the virus. 

Can RIBC accept positive diagnostic testing that was only confirmed via telephone call; the donor has no paper documentation?

All potential CP donors need either a copy of their testing, or a prescription or note from their MD (whose name and address must be provided), which states the following:  name of donor, date of test or other attestation of confirmation of disease, and results. Here is a link for donors on how to obtain results based on their testing location in RI.

Can RIBC accept a screenshot/s of diagnostic testing results?

Yes, if the screenshot image(s) include the potential CP donor’s full name, date of test, and the title of the testing facility.

What is the donation frequency and time period of donation for CP?

Every 28 days.  

Can CP donors with complete resolution of symptoms be placed on the schedule prior to completing their 14-day deferral period? 

No. We cannot book the CP donor until they can attest to being symptom-free for 14 days, in case symptoms return during that time. 

Does RIBC accept CP donors who had a positive diagnostic test and have been symptom-free for at least 14 days, but on re-testing are still positive?  

Yes, irrespective of re-testing results, donors are eligible to donate if they have been symptom-free for at least 14 days.