Blood centers accepting plasma donations to fight COVID-19

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EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA, N.C. (WNCT) – Coronavirus survivors can now play a critical role in helping other patients beat the illness.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved using convalescent plasma to help people who become infected.

Experts say blood plasma from a coronavirus survivor contains antibodies that can help COVID-19 patients in an emergency. Only people who have recovered from the virus can donate convalescent plasma.

“So that’s really unique and kind of a silver lining in all of this. If you’ve had COVID-19 then you are able to help somebody else in the midst of them having it,” said Allie Van Dyke, media coordinator at Blood Connection.

Blood Connection, based in North and South Carolina, is offering this procedure at its blood centers. ​Donors must make an appointment, provide proof they have tested positive for the virus, and be symptom-free as of 28 days prior to donating.

The process is still going through research and clinical trials to determine the full benefits.

City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is the first person in Florida to have recovered from the virus and donate convalescent plasma. He is one of a handful of people in the entire country to do go through the procedure.

“I felt early on it was important for me, to lead and that I would be an example,” said Suarez.

He tested positive for coronavirus back in early March. After his recovery, he donated his blood plasma that will be used to save someone else’s life, fighting COVID-19.

“Honestly, it’s one of the most amazing feelings,” said Suarez.

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