After surviving COVID-19’s peak, New York has the largest pool of eligible donors who can help save lives

NEW YORK – When COVID-19 was at its peak in New York, thousands came forward to help their neighbors by donating convalescent plasma. Now, the time has come to help treat patients around the country, who are suffering from the disease. As COVID-19 spreads at historic rates, NYBC is shipping convalescent plasma to the hardest hit states, including Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and California. In the past week, NYBC has sent 3,300 units of convalescent plasma out to coronavirus hotspots across the nation. NYBC’s efforts are part of a federal initiative with the Department of Health and Human Services to increase the amount of convalescent plasma available to treat patients nationwide.

In the treatment, known as convalescent plasma, the patient is transfused with the donor’s plasma with the goal of using the donor’s antibodies to help clear the virus more rapidly and help decrease the need for ICU beds and ventilators. NYBC will collect, process the plasma for infusion, and maintain a supply for hospitals to treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections. Each donation can be used to treat two to three patients struggling with severe cases of COVID-19; NYBC has collected over 34,000 units of convalescent plasma from donors to date. In order to keep up with the demand for this life-saving resource, NYBC will have to collect 10,000 units of convalescent plasma units per month.

“Now is an extremely critical time to donate plasma because cases are surging throughout the US at alarming rates. In our experience, convalescent plasma is a life saver and no person in need, anywhere, should go without it,” said Christopher D. Hillyer, MD, President and CEO, of New York Blood Center. “Until a vaccine arrives, convalescent plasma is lining up as ‘first-choice therapy’ for this deadly disease. If you are eligible, please come in and donate so we can help treat as many patients as possible. It truly is a matter of life and death.”

Donors must have tested positive for COVID-19 and be symptom-free for 14 days. One donation can be used to treat two to three patients struggling with severe cases of COVID-19. Interested donors can sign up at nybc.org/covidplasma.

NYBC is one of the largest independent blood centers in the world. Its network serves local communities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Rhode Island. With cities across the country being heavily impacted by the virus, NYBC plans to distribute its resources to the areas that need it the most.