Demand for convalescent plasma surges during coronavirus pandemic

OneBlood says hospitals are looking for plasma as COVID-19 cases increase
File photo of a patient donating convalescent plasma.jpg
Posted at 3:44 PM, Jul 15, 2020

Blood donation centers are experiencing a huge surge in demand for plasma. This, as hospitals see more patients admitted with COVID-19.

Wednesday was the day Eli Silva and his wife prayed for, the day his 83-year-old father-in-law was discharged from the hospital after surviving the deadly coronavirus.

"Those 75 days felt like, my God, a year," Silva said.

The Silva family went through some dark times, but 15 days after being admitted to the hospital, Silva said his father-in-law Lorenzo received convalescent plasma.

"The next morning he moved his hands and opened his eyes for the first time after 15 days in an induced coma," Silva said.

OneBlood said the demand for convalescent plasma has skyrocketed as hospitals look to them for supply.

"OneBlood is experiencing over a 500% increase in hospital orders coming in for convalescent plasma," said Susan Forbes, the senior vice president of corporate communications for OneBlood. "And the surge in cases of COVID-19 that are happening in Florida, combined with the fact that hospitals are using convalescent plasma earlier in treatment, those two things are driving demand up to extraordinary levels."

If you have fought COVID-19 and are eligible to donate plasma, got to OneBlood's website by clicking here.

If you've already donated plasma, remember that you can donate again in 28 days.

Silva is part of the donor pool, already donating once in May, with another appointment on Thursday to donate again.

"Until you go through something like this with one of your family members, you really don't have an idea what it represents, Silva said.