The Community Blood Center Urges the Community to Donate Blood and Convalescent Plasma as COVID-19 Cases Increase in Wisconsin
Use of convalescent plasma by local patients and hospitals has more than doubled within the last two weeks.
The Community Blood Center (CBC) is urging all healthy and eligible blood donors to donate blood, platelets and convalescent plasma, as the number of COVID-19 cases increase throughout the state. CBC is the sole provider of all blood, platelets and plasma, including convalescent plasma, to nearly 30 hospitals throughout Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
One in seven individuals entering a hospital will rely on a blood transfusion. Patients, like those facing cancer treatments, surgical procedures or traumatic injuries, rely on volunteer donors for transfusions. The care for these patients continues despite the status of COVID-19 in our community. All blood types are important and needed to ensure a reliable blood supply today and into the months ahead.
As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the local and national hospital demand for convalescent plasma has also increased. CBC has been working with more than 100 recovered COVID-19 community members who are selflessly giving their time to donate the plasma that can be directly transfused to patients battling the coronavirus.
Hospital demand for convalescent plasma has more than doubled over the last two weeks. CBC is urging all community members who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate convalescent plasma. With the rise of convalescent plasma transfusions needed by local patients and hospitals, CBC must ensure a reliable supply of this treatment option.
The blood, platelets and convalescent plasma that are directly transfused to a patient have to come from a volunteer donor per U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation. Donors cannot be compensated. However, the donated blood, platelets or convalescent plasma is part of a patient’s immediate medical treatment plan as these blood components are given directly through an intravenous (IV) line.
Safety is a top priority at CBC. The following enhanced safety practices are in place to provide the safest donation experience possible:
- Appointments required: to ensure social distancing and manage the number of people gathered at one time
- Limited staffing: only those necessary to the blood collection process are allowed to work onsite
- Masks: are worn by all staff members and encouraged and provided for all donors
- Temperature pre-screening: to ensure health of donors immediately upon entry and staff before they work onsite
- Physical barriers: to add an extra layer of protection
- Enhanced registration: to protect your personal space and minimize exposure
- Snacks: all donor snacks are individually wrapped
- Hand wash and cough etiquette: is practiced by all staff members
- Additional sanitizing: in addition to the already rigorous cleaning process
All blood types are needed for both blood and convalescent plasma transfusions. Healthy and eligible individuals, including first-time donors, are encouraged to schedule an appointment at www.communityblood.org or by calling (800) 280-4102.
Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 are encouraged to complete the online form to learn more about becoming a convalescent plasma donor: https://www.communityblood.org/donate-convalescent-plasma/