SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Baystate Medical Center is seeking plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 patients to help patients who are still fighting to beat the virus.
According to a news release sent by Baystate Health spokesperson Keith J. O’Connor, Baystate Medical Center announced the new program initiative “Hemotherapy Heroes.”
The initiative is for recovered COVID-19 patients to donate their convalescent plasma to help combat COVID-19. Plasma donated could help save the lives of people fighting the virus. O’Connor said convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that is collected from patients who have recovered COVID-19. COVID-19 patients develop antibodies in the blood to help fight against the virus.
“I think we may be facing some seasonality here with this particular pathogen. And being able to reflex very quickly to a program that is set up like this, I think could be extremely important to saving lives.”Dr. Chester Andrzejewski, Medical Director of System Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine Services at Baystate Health
O’Connor said, over 130 patient donors, who have recovered from their COVID-19 viral illness, have already reached out to Baystate’s Blood Donor Center to donate their convalescent plasma.
“The desire to help others after recovering from this debilitating virus is very important to these patient donors and their compassion in the face of their recent, sometimes severe illness, is very gratifying to see,” Lynne O’Hearn, transfusion safety officer at Baystate Health said.
According to O’Connor, convalescent plasma is being investigated for the treatment of COVID-19 because there is information that suggests it might help some patients recover from COVID-19.
If you have had COVID-19 and are fully recovered, you may be able to help save the lives of other COVID-19 patients by donating your plasma.
To qualify, you must meet the following current requirements:
- You must be able to meet routine blood donation eligibility requirements
- You must have a prior COVID-19 diagnosis documented by a laboratory test
- You must be fully recovered for at least 28 days
- You must be willing to authorize Baystate Health access to your medical record for the purpose of determining your eligibility for COVID-19 convalescent plasma donation.
Those who meet the requirements and want to donate their plasma can fill out a plasma donation data form here. If you haven’t had COVID-19 and still want to help you can donate blood.