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Convalescent plasma helping seven local coronavirus patients, Houchin said

Posted at 8:09 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 14:22:13-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Thanks to local recovered patients and donors, convalescent plasma has been transfused into seven coronavirus patients within Kern County, according to Houchin Community Blood Bank.

Convalescent plasma is the term used for plasma that is removed from the blood of a person who has recovered from a disease, then transfused into a patient still battling it. According to HCBB, a few critical COVID-19 patients in the county have significantly improved after receiving this treatment.

The blood bank announced last week it would be collecting convalescent plasma from fully recovered patients to help those still fighting the virus.

“Fully recovered COVID-19 patients can donate up to 1000 milliliters of plasma depending on their weight and blood counts," said Dr. Brad Bryan, CEO of Houchin Community Blood Bank. "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."

According to the America's Blood Center, when your body is exposed to a foreign pathogen, your body’s response is to produce antibodies hat may help 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.

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.