Houchin Community Blood Bank collects its first COVID-19 convalescent plasma to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients

Posted at 2:37 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 17:43:59-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Houchin Community Blood Bank today announced they collected its first COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma from a fully recovered patient.

Convalescent plasma is an investigational treatment being explored for COVID-19 that contains immune-boosting antibodies that may help those critically ill from COVID-19 to fight the disease.

Convalescent plasma has been previously studied in outbreaks of other respiratory infections, including the 2003 SARs epidemic, the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic and the 2012 MERS epidemic.

The 600 milliliters of plasma collected today from this very unique donation will be supplied to a Kern County Hospital to treat COVID-19 patients in need.

“Fully recovered COVID-19 patients can donate up to 1000 milliliters of plasma depending on their weight and blood counts. Every 200 milliliters of plasma may save the life of a COVID-19 patient, so today this donor may have just given new life to three patients in our local hospitals,” said Dr. Brad Bryan, CEO of Houchin Community Blood Bank.

Houchin Community Blood Bank will continue collecting and distributing convalescent plasma and are expanding their capacity to do even more in the coming days and weeks. Donors have to meet all the regular criteria for giving blood. They also have to pass additional FDA screening, which Houchin said includes:

• Prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test

• Complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior to donation

• Have a negative result for COVID-19

• Meet all standard FDA plasma donation requirements.

Patients who have fully recovered from COVID-19 and want to donate are asked to call 661-616-2575.