Central IL Community Blood Center Begins Convalescent Plasma Donations To Combat COVID-19

By Benjamin Cox on April 13, 2020 at 9:16pm

The Central Illinois Community Blood Center is using a specific therapy to help COVID-19 patients beat the virus. The CICBC is taking plasma donations from positive COVID-19 patients who have recvered naturally from the virus. Kirby Winn of the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center that manages the CICBC says that their organization which covers three states are starting the new therapy today. “The Blood Center is now accepting and taking referrals from physicians and care providers who know of people in the community who have had a COVID-19 infection and are now recovered. The patient is feeling good again and are on process in our pipeline to becoming a plasma donor. The process is known as convalescent plasma donation. It ultimately provides a medicine in the sense of the plasma itself that can be transfused to a patient with a current COVID-19 infection and we hope it would then help them recover by providing antibodies to fight the infection.”

The treatment has been used in recent years to help combat Ebola, SARS, MERS, and H1N1 influenza. Donors for the plasma program must have officially tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered from all symptoms of the virus for at least 28 days. Each donor must be referred to the Blood Center by their physician or care provider, who must provide certain information to qualify the donor. A donor must meet standard criteria for donor eligibility. Donors will be scheduled for a plasma donation at the CICBC Donor Center in Springfield.

Potential donors are asked to contact their physician to make a referral as a COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor. Physicians wishing to refer patients for donation should use the referral form available at www.bloodcenter.org. For additional information, potential donors or physicians may send inquiries to patientservices@mvrbc.org.