The North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) and Vitalant are asking individuals who previously tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered to consider donating their plasma, also known as convalescent plasma. There is currently no proven treatment for COVID-19, but the Food and Drug Administration is allowing the transfusion of convalescent plasma as an investigational treatment. It’s currently the only antibody treatment available for COVID-19 patients.
“There have already been a few cases in North Dakota where convalescent plasma treatment has proven beneficial for patients infected with COVID-19,” said Dr. Joan Connell, field medical officer with the NDDoH. “This is a unique opportunity for someone who has recovered from COVID-19 to potentially save a life.”
Convalescent plasma donors must have previously tested positive for COVID-19 and meet the following criteria:
· Have a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test
· Experienced complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days with a subsequently negative COVID-19 test or complete resolution of symptoms for at least 28 days (with or without a negative COVID-19 test)
· Meet all other donor eligibility for an automated plasma donation, including:
o Be at least 16 years old (16- and 17-year-olds must bring a signed permission form from a parent or guardian)
o Weigh at least 110 pounds
o Be in good general health
To become a convalescent plasma donor, individuals who meet the criteria should contact their physician or visit www.vitalant.org/covidfree for more information on how to refer themselves. Individuals or family members who are interested in acquiring a donation for a family member should contact their clinician for more information.