Blood Plasma for COVID-19 patients

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Gustaaf de Ridder, System Director of Transfusion at Geisinger System, says when you have any kind of viral infection, the immune system’s response is to form anti-bodies.

“Their job in life is to stick really tightly to invading viruses and bacteria and things and help your body clear those infectious agents, from your blood and from your lungs and other parts of your body,” Dr. de Ridder, said.

“Their job in life is to stick really tightly to invading viruses and bacteria and things and help your body clear those infectious agents, from your blood and from your lungs and other parts of your body,” Dr. de Ridder, said.

He says, that’s why Geisinger is asking people who have had COVID-19, to donate their blood plasma to those currently battling the virus.


“What we hope is that we can take the plasma, which is the part of the blood that contains proteins like anti-bodies-you take that plasma from donors that have gotten over COVID-19 and give it to people who are newly sick COVID-19 and help them get better faster,” de Ridder, said.


To give, people who’ve had the coronavirus need to be symptom-free for 14 days from the negative follow up nasal swab test or 28 days without a negative follow up test.

Dr. De ridder says, the antibodies in donated blood plasma could keep a COVID-19 patient off the ventilator or discharge them from the hospital faster.

He says blood plasma won’t cure the coronavirus, but when given to a patient early in the disease, it could be just what their body needs.

“What we’re hoping is that we can sort of, ya’ know they’re getting sicker and sicker and we can blunt that course of illness, kind of slow it down, so that they’re immune system has more time to adapt to that virus and make their own response,” de Ridder, said.

As soon as antibody tests are available regionally, there will be public service announcements, to get more people to donate blood plasma.

They’re not worried about the coronavirus being in the blood.

If you have had the coronavirus and want to donate your blood plasma, contact your local Red Cross.

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