Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart becomes COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor

National
Mario Diaz-Balart

U.S Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., speaks during a news conference after a roundtable discussion with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Venezuelan exiles, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI, FLORIDA (WNCT) U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, (R) Florida, has recovered from coronavirus and has become a COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor with OneBlood, the not-for-profit blood center serving Florida, North Carolina and other parts of the southeastern United States.

COVID-19 convalescent plasma is an experimental treatment that has been approved by the FDA to be used to treat critically ill coronavirus patients.

“I’m extremely grateful to, not only have completely recovered from COVID-19, but also to have been able to donate my plasma to help those with serious or immediately life-threatening coronavirus infections,” said Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart. “I strongly encourage people who have recovered from COVID-19 to become a donor. It could save someone’s life. I thank the OneBlood team for their amazing work. During a time of crisis, it’s crucial that we come together to help any way we can,” said Congressman Diaz-Balart.

People who recover from COVID-19 have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood. 

Transfusing plasma that contains the antibodies into a person still fighting the virus can provide a boost to the patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover.

OneBlood began collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma earlier this month and has since collected and distributed several hundred units to hospitals throughout its service area.

“People who have recovered from the coronavirus hold the potential key in helping critically ill coronavirus patients recover and they are needed,” said Susan Forbes, OneBlood’s senior vice president of corporate communications and public relations. “OneBlood is collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma seven days a week throughout its service area and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” said Forbes.

People interested in becoming a COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor should visit www.oneblood.org to view the donor eligibility requirements and fill out the necessary forms.

Donors who meet the FDA criteria to be a donor will be contacted by OneBlood to coordinate their donation. 

Donor Eligibility Requirements

  • Prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by an FDA approved laboratory test
    • A positive diagnostic test at the time of illness OR
    • A positive serological test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after recovery
  • Complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior to donation and a documented negative COVID-19 FDA approved test OR complete resolution of symptoms at least 28 days prior to donation
  • Must meet all the required FDA screening criteria for blood donation
  • As a part of the pre-donation process, donors will be required to provide their COVID-19 test result(s).

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