COVID-19 survivors: you’ve got a lot of fight in you.
HOW IT WORKS
Donating blood plasma is a safe process that has been used for more than one hundred years to help save lives. Thousands of people safely and painlessly donate every day. Blood plasma donation is performed in a highly regulated environment by professionally trained staff using sterile, one-time-use, disposable materials. Facilities follow strict guidelines when collecting plasma to ensure the donor’s safety and comfort.
Here are some of the key steps to donate:
- 1. ELIGIBILITY
You must have had COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test, an antibody test, or clinical diagnosis and meet other donor criteria. You must also be symptom free for at least 14 days prior to visiting a donor center.
- 2. REGISTRATION
You will be asked to show proof of identification and share your contact information when you arrive at the donor center. Some centers may have additional registration requirements. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
- 3. SCREENING
You must pass a pre-donation screening at every visit, including a brief exam to check your body temperature, blood pressure, and pulse rate. The goal of this screening is to make sure that the donation is safe for both you and the recipients of the final product.
- 4. DONATION PROCESS
Once your eligibility is confirmed, you will move to a donation area where you will rest on a donor bed while connected to an automated machine that will collect your plasma. You will be carefully monitored by staff throughout the donation process. Your donor bed will be socially distanced at least six feet from other donors and/or personal protective equipment will be provided.
- 5. PLASMA COLLECTION
Blood plasma is collected through an automated process that separates plasma from other blood components, then returns your red blood cells and platelets to you. This process continues until a target amount of plasma has been collected.
WHAT IS BLOOD PLASMA?
Plasma – the liquid portion of your blood – can be easily replaced by your body. It consists mainly of water, proteins and antibodies that help your body to function. If you have survived COVID-19 then your plasma includes antibodies that could help others fight the virus.
1% White Blood Cells
44% Red Blood Cells
1% White Blood Cells
44% Red Blood Cells
HOW IS BLOOD PLASMA USED?
Plasma from those who have recovered could be a key part of the fight against COVID-19. Once the COVID-19 plasma is donated, it can take one of two paths: be directly transfused into patients or be used to make a potential medicine. Learn more about the two paths here
COVID-19 is affecting every aspect of our lives – how we live, how we work, how we relate to one another. Moments like this can make us feel disempowered, especially when so many of us are physically separated from the loved ones who bring meaning to our lives. But it is these moments that shape us. They draw into focus the disparities between the world as it is and the world we want. They define who we are as a human family.
As business, non-profit and community leaders, we understand that this has not impacted all of us equally. This disease has disproportionately impacted people of color, not least of all because African Americans and other communities of color make up a high percentage of front-line workers in healthcare and other essential organizations. Many across America are bearing an unequal burden that is not unique to COVID-19, as recent demonstrations across the country have brought into sharp relief.
One action that you can take right now is to help COVID-19 survivors help others. If you or someone you know has recently recovered from COVID-19, a plasma donation can help those who are currently sick with the disease as well as aid in the development of potentially life-saving treatments. A coalition of more than 30 organizations has come together to create a national donor recruitment campaign – The Fight Is In Us – with the goal of connecting survivors with licensed blood and plasma donor centers. A simple online tool helps potential donors learn where to go and arrange free transportation to make it easy and convenient to share the antibodies that helped fight off infection. The Fight Is In Us was formed around a core set of principles to maximize the individual and societal benefit of convalescent plasma:
- Engagement - We are committed to empowering all our members and the public to build trust and inspire us all to come together to ensure that survivors donate, collection capacity is maximized, and distribution is optimized.
- Evidence – Science must be the foundation for addressing the pandemic, and we are committed to letting science be our guide in making non-partisan decisions about convalescent plasma for transfusion and (when available) hyperimmune globulin.
- Equity – Ensuring equity in the development of and access to affordable, safe, and effective treatments for COVID-19 isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the most effective way to protect those whose lives are most at risk and to treat those who develop disease. We are committed to ensuring that convalescent plasma preventative interventions and disease therapies are prioritized for those who will benefit from them most and ensuring that the best treatments are available in the near and longer term.
This is a united effort bringing together several coalitions and organizations, including academic medical institutions (the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Expanded Access Program led by Mayo Clinic and including Johns Hopkins University, Michigan State University, and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis); plasma companies (Grifols and the CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance, including those announced at its inception—Biotest, BPL, CSL Behring, LFB, Octapharma, and Takeda—and new members ADMA Biologics, BioPharma Plasma, GC Pharma, Liminal BioSciences, and Sanquin); national blood organizations (including AABB, American Red Cross, America’s Blood Centers, and Blood Centers of America); health benefits company Anthem Inc.; health care diagnostics company LabCorp; community and non-profit leaders including Stop the Spread and XPRIZE; marketing and media contributions from supporters including the CSL Behring, Grifols, and Takeda; and the National Basketball Association.
"The Fight Is In Us" is also supported by advisory and technology supporters. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Lasker Foundation are providing advisory support. Microsoft is providing technology support for the recruitment website and self-qualification tool. The website and tool are hosted by The MITRE Corporation. MITRE is appreciative of the Microsoft AI for Health program for their support in MITRE’s hosting of the recruitment website and self-qualification tool in the Azure cloud. Uber Health is providing free, roundtrip Uber rides to and from the donor centers for those who are eligible to donate. Ashfield Healthcare is providing contact center service to support COVID-19 survivors.
For questions about donation, please contact 877-PLASMA9 (877-752-7629). For press or partnership inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLANNING FOR YOUR DONATION
How should I prepare for my donation?
Donating blood plasma is similar to giving blood. If you can tolerate donating blood, or giving blood during medical appointments, you should be comfortable donating blood plasma. Highly trained staff will take great care to minimize any possible discomfort.
In rare occasions, some donors might feel faint or weak. Personnel at the donor center are trained to recognize and deal with any adverse event that might occur. Eating a healthy meal and drinking plenty of water before and after your donation will help you feel well after your donation. If you have a history of feeling faint at the sight of blood, please let the donor center staff know.
What precautions are blood and plasma donor centers taking to ensure the safety of donors?
Thousands of people safely donate plasma every day. The collection process uses sterile tubing and supplies for each donation. The tubing and supplies are discarded after each collection and are never reused. Blood does not come in contact with the collection machine.
These are a few of the extra precautions that donor centers are taking:
- Pre-entry screening
- Following social distancing guidelines
- Enhanced personal protective equipment used by staff
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures
Where can I donate in the United States?
There are hundreds of FDA licensed donor centers across the United States. Find the nearest donor centers, sorted by distance from you, by clicking here.
Where can I donate in Europe?
The CoVIg Plasma Alliance is able to accept potential donors at plasma donor centers in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, and Hungary. Find your nearest plasma donor center by clicking here and selecting your country from the dropdown menu at the top. Individuals in Europe who have recovered from COVID-19 and are interested in donating plasma can also contact their local blood donor center to inquire about making a donation appointment.
Can I donate more than once?
Individuals who have fully recovered from COVID-19 and are willing to donate their blood plasma are encouraged to donate as many times as allowed by the donor center. Donor centers may have additional guidelines.
I have young children. Can I bring them with me?
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, donors are asked to visit blood and plasma donor centers without accompanying guests or children. This is for the health and safety of you and your loved ones as well as other donors and staff.
Do I need to change my diet?
It is recommended that you eat a light but healthy meal three hours before your donation. This means a meal that is high in protein (such as eggs, fish, or nuts), rich in iron (such as tuna, lean red meat, nuts, or beans), and low in fat (fatty or fried foods can interfere with laboratory testing). Since blood plasma is 90% water, you should also be well-hydrated, so drink plenty of water, juice, or other fluids and reduce your caffeine intake the day before your donation. Please do not drink any alcohol the night before or the day of your donation.
What do I need to bring with me to the blood and plasma donor center?
You must have had COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test, an antibody test, or clinical diagnosis and be symptom-free for at least 14 days prior to donation. You must also present one of the following:
- A valid government-issued identification (Example: Driver's License, Military ID, etc.)
Some donor centers may have additional requirements. Call ahead to find out if you also need:
- Proof of social security number (Example: Social Security Card)
- If you are a resident of Mexico, please also provide a valid Border Crossing Card (BCC) or US Visa and government-issued document/identification indicating the CURP (Clave Unica de Registro de Poblacion) number
- Proof of local residency (Example: Piece of mail postmarked in the past 30 days, current lease, utility bill, etc.)
Do I need to tell my insurance company that I am donating?
You do not need to inform your insurance provider. This is not a medical procedure and you will not be charged for your donation.
How can I get to and from the donor center?
Uber Health is providing free, roundtrip Uber rides to and from the donor centers for those who are eligible to donate. You will have an opportunity to indicate if you need a roundtrip Uber ride when you search for the nearest donor centers, sorted by distance from you, by clicking here.
UNDERSTANDING DONATION ELIGIBILITY
Why do you need to know if I am at least 18 years old?
Some centers set 16 years as the minimum age for donors, and some 18 years. Based on your answer, we surface the correct list of donor centers. If you are under the age of 18, parental consent may be required for blood collection.
Why do you need to know that I weigh at least 110 pounds?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") require that this question be asked as the FDA requires donors to weigh at least 110 pounds.
Why do you need to know if I have ever had a confirmed positive test for HIV, or Hepatitis B or C?
The FDA requires that these questions be asked. A person who has tested positive for HIV is not eligible to donate. Never having had a positive test for Hepatitis B or C is also required by the FDA for donation at a plasma donor center. Your donated plasma will also be tested for transfusion-transmissible diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis B and C. Your responses to these question are used to determine donation eligibility.
Can I donate if I am pregnant? Can I donate if I recently gave birth?
A person who is currently pregnant is not eligible to donate for their safety. For six weeks after giving birth, a person is not eligible to donate at blood donor centers where their plasma will be used for transfusion. A person's blood will be tested for HLA antibodies, commonly seen after childbirth, which present no problems to the donor but pose a risk to patients receiving plasma transfusions. Additionally, for six months after giving birth, a person is not eligible to donate at a plasma donor center. Since their plasma is going to undergo additional manufacturing steps, they will not be tested for HLA antibodies. If you have any questions about eligibility, it is recommended that you call your local donor center.
ABOUT THE DATA COLLECTED
What is the role of Microsoft in the campaign?
Microsoft developed the donor recruitment website and self-qualification tool. The website and tool are hosted by The MITRE Corporation ("MITRE"), a not-for-profit organization that operates and manages federally funded research and development centers.
How will the data I enter be used?
MITRE will store the answers you provide and will share this non-personally identifiable data in an aggregated form with "The Fight Is In Us" campaign only to improve the COVID-19 plasma donation program. MITRE may also share aggregate findings with the public through journal publications, collaborations with other scientists, or postings to track developments in the fight against COVID-19.
Is any personally identifiable information ("PII") and/or protected health information ("PHI") collected or shared by MITRE?
No, PII and PHI are not collected or shared by MITRE.
Will MITRE sell my data?
No, MITRE will not sell your data.
Who should I contact if I have questions?
For questions about donation, please contact 877-PLASMA9 (877-752-7629). For press or partnership inquires please contact email@example.com.
What is the role of Bio-Linked in the campaign?
Bio-Linked™ is a secure, online registry that allows individuals to volunteer a few details of their recent infection with COVID-19 so that they can be identified as potential donors of COVID Convalescent Plasma (CCP). It allows users to be linked with healthcare organizations in their local area that collect this type of blood donation, which is one of the few treatment options currently showing promise in caring for patients severely ill with the new coronavirus. CCP is also being sought to develop a drug (“hyperimmune globulin”) that may help COVID-19 patients in the near future. Registrants will be contacted by their chosen blood collection facility to discuss their eligibility to give CCP and to schedule appointments to donate. Participation is entirely voluntarily at each step in the process from registration through qualification and on to collection. Providing a streamlined process for recovered patients to give CCP, Bio-Linked speeds therapy to ill patients and helps assure sufficient CCP is available to all who may need it.
5/27/20 Philippe R. Bauer, MD, PhD
4/7/20 The Journal of Clinical Investigation
RESEARCH & OUTCOMES
4/14/20 Clara Health
6/11/20 Mayo Clinic
4/28/20 National Academy of Sciences
6/19/20 American Society of Hematology
5/27/20 Science Direct
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