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Red Cross asks survivors of COVID-19 to donate plasma

Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 2:16 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - All of us are asked to keep a social distance and wear a mask to help those around us. Those who have made it through a COVID-19 infection can help in their own way.

It turns out antibodies you developed by surviving COVID-19 can be given to someone sick with the virus to help them recover.

“It’s not unique. Other infectious diseases in the past it’s been known to help that’s why we initially thought this would be something to do and have some success with,” said Josh Murray, Red Cross Regional Communications Director.

And with hospitalizations high, the need for plasma containing antibodies is needed now more than ever.

“We’re meeting right now but we’re getting to the time of year where we really do get concerned about it with the holidays winter weather and flu season,” said Murray.

To be eligible you need to have recovered from COVID, tested negative after having it, and fill out a form with the Red Cross.

The Red Cross tests every blood sample and will notify you if you have antibodies in your blood.  If you do, you’ll be asked if you would like to come back and donate again.

“With testing antibodies, anybody who gives will get your test results back whether you’re positive for antibodies were negative,” said Murray.

Having antibodies is the cherry on top but the need for standard plasma and blood has been high the whole pandemic.

Bruce Peterson has been a regular at the West Omaha Red Cross for more than 20 years.

He started donating plasma when he found out a friend had cancer and then because of his wife’s job he learned how important his regular donations were.

“My wife is a retired neonatal nurse, so I knew they needed units at the hospital so I started donating blood,” said Peterson.

For 18 years of his donation career, he had only been donating plasma. While he has remained free of the COVID virus, his own story can tell you how important it is to be like him.

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