NEW YORK – New York Blood Center, the Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish Community, Ahavas Chesed and COVID Plasma Initiative are partnering to host a convalescent plasma drive on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. The drive will take place from 9am – 9pm at the Oholei Torah Ballroom. Donors must have tested positive for COVID-19 and be symptom-free for 14 days. New York Blood Center (NYBC) will collect donations from 200 participating donors at the drive, enough to treat 600 patients suffering from coronavirus.
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. 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.
“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.”
NYBC is taking extra precautions to help prevent the person-to-person spread of COVID-19. As always, people are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms. Additional information on donor eligibility and COVID-19 precautions is available here.
The convalescent plasma drive will take place from 9am – 9pm on Wednesday, July 22nd, at the Oholei Torah Ballroom (667 Eastern Parkway), Brooklyn. Donors are required to schedule appointments in advance in order to maintain social distancing. Interested donors can sign up at nybc.org/covidplasma.