Since 1970, the month of January has been observed as, National Blood Donor Month. The American Red Cross (ARC) sponsored campaign, “recognizes the lifesaving contribution of blood and platelet donors.” According to the ARC, more than 13,000 donations are needed daily to meet the demands of the 2,600 hospitals, clinics, and cancer clinics nationwide that rely on voluntary blood donors.
Now, the COVID-19 crisis has created an urgent need for people who have fully recovered from the infections caused by the virus to donate their plasma to help those currently fighting its serious effects. According to ARC, “People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. This convalescent plasma is being evaluated as treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or those judged by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease.”
The qualifications to donate plasma to COVID-19 patients are the following:
- Donor must be at least 17 years old and 110 pounds (additional weight requirements apply to donors under age 18).
- Donor must be in good health and feeling generally well.
- Donor must have had a prior verified diagnosis of COVID-19, is now symptom-free and fully recovered.
Here are some additional facts about blood donations:
- Type “O” is the most requested blood type by hospitals as it is always in high demand and short supply. According to the ARC, only 7% of people living in the USA have type O negative blood.
- AB positive blood donors are called the universal donors of plasma. The ARC shares that only 3% of people living in the USA have AB positive blood.
- A single car accident victim can require up to 100 pints of blood.
- Blood donation is a safe and sterile process.
- A single donation can potentially help more than one patient.
- Most donated red blood cells must be used within 42 days of collection.
Learn more about blood donations by visiting www.redcross.com. You can also discuss any medical concerns with your healthcare provider prior to donating. To speak with a healthcare provider at Primary Medical Care Center & Urgent Care Clinic to assess any non-emergency health concerns, including suspected COVID-19 symptoms, please call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic. For life-threatening emergencies, always call 911. For coronavirus updates and resources, please visit our website at www.primarymed.com.