Hospital asking for blood donations from COVID-19 survivors

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Springfield healthcare system is asking people who recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma.

“We’re still learning about COVID antibodies,” said JoAnne Levy, vice president of Mercy Research. “Our goal is to contact potential donors and receive convalescent plasma when antibody levels may possibly be at their highest. That way, the donated plasma may be the most effective in helping others. And, as we learn more, we’ll adapt our approaches.”

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) said there is a critical shortage of convalescent plasma (CCP) in Southwest Missouri.

CCP from COVID-19 patients has antibodies with a chance to help people currently fighting the virus.

“Since the beginning of August, the need for convalescent plasma in our service area has quadrupled,” said Anthony Roberts, executive director for the blood center. “We were averaging a need for five to six units per day. Now the need is closer to 30.”

Referrals are no longer required. Donors will need written or electronic proof of a COVID-19 test. Mercy Hospital requires donors to be fully recovered for 28 days before donating.

Those with MyMercy can email mercyresearchinfo@mercy.net for more information. Local patients not with Mercy can contact CBCO directly at 417-227-5000 to see if they can donate.

CBCO is offering Visa gift cards to recovered COVID-19 donors.

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