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Convalescent Plasma - Information for Family and Patient Advocates

We know this is a very difficult and challenging time for our city, our nation, and the world. We are working as hard as ever to meet the daily healthcare needs of our communities in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. We have received many inquiries from family, friends, and patient advocates wondering how they can secure convalescent plasma (CP) for their loved ones who are suffering from COVID-19. 

At this time, we are building a public bank of CP and there is not an option to make a directed donation (making a donation for a specific patient). We appreciate the wish to donate to your loved one, however it is best to donate to the general inventory for a number of reasons:

  • We can deliver a unit of CP from the general inventory faster than from a directed donation. The process takes days—from scheduling the donation and collecting the plasma to testing and shipping to the hospital.
  • For a blood donation to be helpful to a patient, there has to be an appropriate match between the blood type of the donor and that of the recipient. You may not share the same blood type as your loved one.
  • Your donation will help others, like other donors are helping your loved one.

Every day we are working to increase our inventory to make sure every patient is able to receive CP. In the last 2 weeks we have significantly grown our capacity, sending almost 1000 units of CP a day to area hospitals.

We strongly encourage those wishing to help make CP available to patients in need to follow these steps.

  • Talk with the patient's health care provider to make sure they have followed these necessary steps in order to secure CP:
    • Work with their Blood Bank Medical Director to contact the New York Blood Center or their local blood supplier.
    • Register to participate in one of the Investigational New Drug (IND) pathways outlined by the Mayo Clinic in order to be able to obtain the COVID-19 convalescent plasma from a blood center.
    • Refer your health care provider to our Information for Health Care Providers page for more information.
  • Encourage anyone you know who tested positive for COVID-19 AND their symptoms have been gone for 14 days to visit nybc.org/cpdonor to register to DONATE.