Antibodies and plasma donation may help COVID patients

Published: May. 7, 2020 at 7:37 PM MDT
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Pennington County and Rapid City employees, such as first responders, have to be in contact with different people every day. That is why, they have been offered the opportunity to get the antibody test this week. "The antibody test will give us indication whether the employees have been exposed to the coronavirus," says Traci Stohrar, the outreach manager for Monument Health. "We're trying to get a snapshot in the community, because we might not been able to test all of our community, so just trying to see where we at." And having antibodies in your blood system could help save lives.

"The FDA identified and approved convalescent plasma as an emergency investigational drug," says Vitalant donor recruitment manager, Brittany Sigel. According to the FDA, people who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least 14 days, are encouraged to donate plasma. "The plasma donation will be a direct transfusion into a critically ill COVID patient. The hope is that the antibody in the plasma will act as an immune booster for those who are suffering COVID-19," Sigel explains.

Actor Tom Hanks, who has recovered from COVID-19 and has the antibodies, has announced that he wishes to donate his plasma for research. Currently, Vitalant accepts plasma donation across the country. If anyone knows someone or is a recovered COVID-19 patient, they are encouraged to inquire with Vitalant to learn more about donating convalescent plasma.