RI Blood Center asking recovered COVID-19 patients to donate their plasma

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) – The Rhode Island Blood Center is calling on anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma as they try to help those most critically ill.

One donation can be used to treat two to three patients struggling with severe COVID-19 cases.

The blood center collects the plasma with the goal of using the donor’s antibodies and then giving it to the hospital to use to treat patients.

Two of the first people to donate to the program at the Rhode Island Blood Center were both health care workers who had previously contracted the virus but have since recovered. Both of them say they know firsthand how much patients need these donations.

Christopher Madison, who works at the Hartford Hospital in Connecticut, said he was inspired to donate to the program after seeing his colleagues who were on the frontlines testing patients. Before the program came to Connecticut, Madison noticed that the program was here in Rhode Island so he decided to make the trip.

“Definitely being an employee here knowing my colleagues were on the frontlines testing patients while I was out [with COVID-19] is what made me want to donate . . . as well as both my parents working in the healthcare system as well,” Madison said.

“I knew I was going to donate and try to help the people I could, seeing I wasn’t that sick to start with and I wanted them to make it through too,” said Elizabeth Hart who is a nurse practitioner at South County Hospital.

Doners must have proof of having tested positive for COVID-19 and be symptom-free for 14 days.

“We need everyone who has recovered [from COVID-19] to come out and donate at this time,” said Dr. Alexandra Jimenez, Rhode Island Blood Center’s Medical Director. “We need the community to come together and make a difference. Right now the demand is so high that we having trouble meeting people’s needs.”

Dr. Jimenez says they are just giving blood plasma to those who are severely ill with COVID-19 but they hope to eventually give it to patients who aren’t as sick.

Interested donors can fill out a form at ribc.org/cpdonors.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island