Hoxworth Blood Center Issues Urgent Plea For COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donors

NEWS RELEASE: Cara Nicolas, Associate Driector, Public Relations. 

CINCINNATI, OH (November 23, 2020) – As cases of COVID-19 continue to spike in the Tri-State area, Hoxworth Blood Center is calling on individuals who have recovered from the virus to donate convalescent plasma.

Convalescent Plasma Donor during a recent donation (Provided)

“With the FDA approving the use of convalescent plasma through the Emergency Use Authorization and area hospitals seeing an huge influx of COVID-19 patients in recent weeks, the demand for convalescent plasma has skyrocketed,” said Alecia Lipton, Director of Public Relations at Hoxworth Blood Center. “In the beginning of the pandemic, we had been shipping eight to ten units of plasma a day. In the past week, we’ve averaged about 65 units shipped every day.”

Convalescent plasma is collected from recovered COVID19 patients who weeks earlier have been found cleared from the disease and found to have developed enough antibodies in their plasma. The antibody-rich plasma can then be transfused to some of the most critically-ill patients in intensive care, and may ameliorate the progression of the disease and even in some patients change significantly the outcome of the disease progression.

As cases of COVID-19 in Ohio have hit all-time highs and hospitals are inundated with patients, Hoxworth has seen a sharp increase in the demand for convalescent plasma.

“A recent meta-analysis generated by analyzing patient outcome data from randomized clinical trials, matched control, and case-series studies in 17 institutions in the U.S. shows promising signs of efficacy,” said Jose Cancelas, MD, PhD, Director of Hoxworth Blood Center. “This study demonstrated that hospitalized COVID-19 patients transfused with donor COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) exhibited a 57% reduction in mortality rate compared to matched-patients receiving standard treatments. This data strongly supports the efficacy of human convalescent plasma as a therapeutic agent in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.”

ndividuals who have recovered from a documented infection of COVID-19 and have been symptom free for at least 14 days, are eligible to donate. Potential donors must first fill out a questionnaire and provide documentation of their COVID-19 infection at this link: https://hoxworth.org/covid-19.html

Hoxworth continues to follow social distancing guidelines at donor centers and blood drives.  Masks are required per local guidelines.