Blood drives and blood collection sites, such as those operated by the American Red Cross and the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center are considered essential and therefore, exempt from stay-at-home mandates.
In addition to blood donors, both the Red Cross and MVRBC are working in coordination with the FDA to collect blood plasma from people who have fully recovered from COVID-19. According to the FDA, convalescent plasma is an antibody-rich and has the potential to lessen the severity or shorten the length of illness caused by COVID-19.
“During this challenging time, many people are asking what they can do to contribute to the COVID-19 response,” a press statement from the FDA read. “Those individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 could have an immediate impact in helping others who are severely ill. In fact, one donation has the potential to help up to four patients. Convalescent plasma can also be used to manufacture a biological product called hyperimmune globulin, which can similarly be used to treat patients with COVID-19.
“People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks can contact their local blood or plasma collection center today to schedule an appointment. We encourage individuals to consider donating and hope this information will serve as a helpful resource to facilitate this important act of kindness.”
For more information about donating blood or plasma, visit redcrossblood.org or bloodcenter.org.