Both Imperial County hospitals and LifeStream Blood Bank announced that a convalescent plasma donation drive from recovered COVID-positive patients will be taking place over the course of two days starting Aug. 3 in Brawley and Aug. 4 in El Centro as part of a clinical trial, according to a July 27 press release from El Centro Regional Medical Center.
A donation site will be set up at Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District at 207 W. Legion Road in Brawley from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 3
The donation drive will continue at El Centro Regional Medical Center’s Medical Office Building located at 1271 Ross Ave., from noon to 6 p.m.
Convalescent plasma donation is a method of collecting plasma products from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. Plasma from recovered donors – called “convalescent plasma” — may have immune-boosting antibodies that may possibly benefit patients with severe cases of COVID-19.
In order to donate plasma, donors must be referred to LifeStream and be deemed eligible. Convalescent plasma collection is similar to a regular blood donation and usually takes less than an hour.
A single donation can assist multiple, critically ill patients, according to the press release.
“As more Southern Californians have become infected in recent weeks, the demand for this unique blood product has greatly increased,” stated Joe Chaffin, MD, LifeStream’s chief medical officer, in the press release. “The need is urgent, and we urge those who may be eligible to find out today if they qualify to donate.”
Potential plasma donors must be referred to LifeStream through a COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donor Form. The referring physician/licensed healthcare provider will need to document all information on the form as well as submit copies of test results that are applicable to the donor’s current status.
The donor should also be deemed non-infectious and be symptom-free for at least 14 days.
Additionally, potential donors are required to complete a pre-screening questionnaire. All information provided will be reviewed by LifeStream’s Medical Services team to determine eligibility of donor. This pre-screening questionnaire does not determine final eligibility. The donor will need to pass all physical screening and health history criteria on the day of donation in order to be deemed a safe and eligible donor.
Upon completion, the COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donor Form, supportive test results, and COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Pre-Screening Tool can be submitted via email to covidplasma@LStream.org or faxed to 909-386-6817. The donor will be contacted by LifeStream Medical Services staff for review of information provided and scheduling of donation appointment.
Donors cannot schedule themselves and or walk-in for a plasma donation. Donors are eligible to donate plasma by automated collection at least every 28 days and in some cases, as soon as every seven days. Convalescent plasma donor packets can be found by visiting LStream.org/covidplasma and by calling 800-879-4484. As an additional resource, an informational resource table and packet pick-up and drop-off location will be available July 28 through July 30 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. inside the ECRMC Medical Office Building. Deadline to submit donor packet is July 30.