LifeServe Blood Center hosts a blood drive in Waukon monthly. Each blood donation they collect is now routinely checked for antibodies to COVID-19, which shows if the donor actually had the COVID-19 virus. Many donors are finding they do have antibodies to COVID-19 which could make them eligible for donating convalescent plasma.
Convalescent plasma (CCP) is the liquid portion of the blood that is rich in antibodies that are used to treat or prevent serious infection. Anyone that was confirmed to have COVID-19 may be producing these specific COVID-19 antibodies. Convalescent plasma is greatly needed to be administered to those suffering from serious COVID-19 complications.
Dennis Klocke of Waukon recently visited the LifeServe blood drive in New Hampton, where he works. He states, “I had never given blood before, but had heard all blood donations would be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Back in October, I had a couple days I did not feel well, but since I did not lose my sense of taste or smell, I didn’t think it could have been COVID, but my blood results did come back positive for antibodies.”
LifeServe informed Klocke of his positive results for antibodies and encouraged him to donate plasma. He adds, “I decided it was all for a great cause, so I have donated plasma twice since my first blood donation last fall. Each time I give, they tell me it is enough to help four other people with COVID. It takes about 45 minutes to donate plasma, which seems like a long time, but then I realize it is something I can do for someone else. I have been able to go right back to work after donating plasma. It does make me tired the night of donating, but it has also made for a great night’s sleep.”
Plasma can be donated every 7-10 days, unlike blood donations that need 58 days between donations.
“I am set up to donate plasma for a third time and look forward to continuing donations to keep helping those that need it,” concludes Klocke.
Because there is no substitute for human blood, the need for donors is continuous. Over half of the United States population is eligible to donate blood, yet less than four percent donate on a regular basis. LifeServe Blood Center is seeing a large increase in first time blood donors and welcome the new donors to add to their donor list.
Plasma donations are available in Waukon each month when the regular blood drives are held. A pre-assessment qualification form can be located at www.lifeservebloodcenter.org to see if you meet all the criteria required for this special plasma donation. For additional information and to make an appointment for convalescent plasma donation, please call the CCP Donation Hotline at 800-297-4903 Option #1.
The next LifeServe Blood Center blood drive will be held on Thursday, March 4, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the First Baptist Church in south Waukon. Blood drives are held every month in Waukon. The LifeServe Blood Center supplies Veterans Memorial Hospital with their blood and blood products.
For additional information and to make an appointment for convalescent plasma donation, please call the CCP Donation Hotline at 800-287-4903 Option #1.