Blood Bank seeks plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 patients

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Blood Bank of Alaska (BBA) is requesting donations of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients in Fairbanks.

Donations can be made at the Fairbanks branch of the Blood Bank of Alaska, 3010 Airport Way. (Alex Bengel/KTVF)

Melissa Nerad, Quality Assurance Director with the BBA, explained the reason behind the request, saying, “We are looking for donors that have previously been diagnosed with COVID-19 who have fully recovered because there are antibodies that are contained in their plasma that may help with critically ill patients. “

In order to donate plasma for this purpose, potential donors need to fill out an application and provide documentation of a positive diagnosis. In order to be deemed fully recovered, a donor must be symptom-free for 28 days.

The application includes a series of questions regarding symptoms, and applicants are asked whether or not they’ve received a negative test. However, it is not necessary for a donor to have tested negative. All donors must meet the eligibility requirements to donate blood under normal circumstances.

Blood donations can be made at the Fairbanks branch of the BBA on 3010 Market Street. The blood is then sent to Anchorage where plasma is separated from red blood cells.

Since the call for convalescent plasma donations from Fairbanks went out, the BBA has received more than thirty-five applications, with twenty individuals qualified to donate. Nerad estimates that ten blood donations have already been collected from Fairbanks.

Nerad explained the long-term value of these plasma donations, saying, “It is good for a year, so if there are any spikes or increases in hospitalizations, the shelf life on it is long because it’s a frozen product. We freeze it after it’s manufactured.”

“We haven’t been hit like other states, but still the feeling of being able to help someone who’s going through something like that, potentially help them, is, I think, very important,” she said.

More information and the application to donate can be found at https://www.bloodbankofalaska.org/.

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