MIAMI, FL — Several NFL players with the Miami Dolphins who recovered from COVID-19 boarded OneBlood’s Big Red Bus to donate convalescent plasma to help patients still fighting the virus.
“I was surprised initially but was happy because I was presented with the opportunity to give back and donate plasma and help people in need,” said Dolphins running back Malcolm Perry. “Being able to give back to people who weren’t fortunate enough to react the same way you did to the virus and give back to the community was important.”
As COVID-19 cases surge, the need for convalescent plasma is reaching extraordinary levels. OneBlood the not-for-profit blood center serving Florida, and much of the southeastern United States is experiencing more than a 500% increase in hospital orders for COVID-19 convalescent plasma and has issued a call to action for people who have recovered from the virus to become convalescent plasma donors.
“Convalescent plasma is needed now more than ever. As quickly as donations come in, they are being processed, tested, and rushed to hospitals. We are grateful to the Dolphins for their partnership and helping create awareness for people who have recovered from COVID-19 to become convalescent plasma donors. These donors hold the potential key in helping patients still fighting the virus to recover”, said Susan Forbes, senior vice president of corporate communications and public relations for OneBlood.
People who have recovered from the coronavirus have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood. By transfusing plasma from a person who has recovered from COVID-19 into a patient still fighting the virus, it can boost their immune system and potentially help them recover.
“We are using convalescent plasma earlier in treatment in an effort to prevent progression of the infection,” said Richard Levine, M.D., infectious disease physician with Doctors Hospital, a part of Baptist Health South Florida. “That’s why it’s crucial that people who have recovered from the virus become convalescent plasma donors. We are grateful to the Miami Dolphins and OneBlood organizations for their dedication in helping the communities we serve.”
In addition to the convalescent plasma donations, many of the Dolphin’s staff and players also donated blood.
“The Dolphins have a long-standing relationship with OneBlood and realize that the only way to ensure a ready blood supply is to make blood donation a habit. It’s an easy way to make a tremendous impact on the community”, said Jason Jenkins, Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs.
Convalescent Plasma Donor Eligibility Requirements
People who have recovered from the coronavirus are urged to visit www.oneblood.org to register to become a convalescent plasma donor. Appointments are required.
In addition to meeting all FDA donor eligibility to be a blood donor, COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors must have complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior to donation and provide one of the following:
- Provide prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test or a letter from a hospital confirming a COVID-19 diagnosis
- OR, provide a positive serological test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies
OneBlood Testing All Blood Donations for COVID-19 Antibody
OneBlood is also testing all blood donations for the COVID-19 antibody. The antibody test is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms. Donors will be able to see their results approximately two to five days after donating by logging into their donor portal at www.oneblood.org. Donors who test positive for the antibody will be eligible to become COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors.
OneBlood is a not-for-profit blood center responsible for providing safe, available and affordable blood to more than 250 hospital partners and their patients throughout Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. Generally healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate blood. To learn more about OneBlood visit www.oneblood.org.