Published on May 05, 2020

Essentia Health offering convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19

Have you recovered from COVID-19? If so, you might be able to donate your plasma and help someone fight the disease.

Blood suppliers are collecting plasma from people who meet specific criteria. The plasma then will be infused in hospitalized patients who are critically ill. The process, which has been used nationally, will provide antibodies that could help them recover. It’s a cutting-edge therapeutic treatment now being offered at Essentia Health.

In order to donate, you must:

  • Have a positive PCR test result for COVID-19. The test must include your name, health care facility or doctor’s name, as well as the date and time of your test.
  • Be symptom-free for more than 14 days and no longer be infectious.
  • Meet the requirements for traditional blood donation.

Essentia is collaborating with the Mayo Clinic’s U.S. Expanded Access Program on this treatment, which will be offered at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth; Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd; and Essentia Health-Fargo. We are coordinating the procurement of plasma with blood-donation centers.

Candidates for convalescent plasma treatment include hospitalized patients older than 18 who have severe pulmonary disease, as well as critically ill patients in respiratory failure, septic shock or experiencing multiple organ dysfunction or failure.

Find a plasma donation site near you.

More Information on Plasma Donations

You may be able to help a patient who is very ill with COVID-19. Patients may benefit from plasma donated by people who have recovered from the disease.

A national approach for this treatment has been put together by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Many blood suppliers have started to collect plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19.

You may be able to donate plasma for COVID-19 treatments if you:

  • Have a positive test result for COVID-19 known as SARS-CoV-2. The test result must include your name, health care facility or doctor’s name and the date and time of your test.
    • If you cannot get your positive test results, your doctor can order a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test. Please do a virtual visit with your medical provider to have this test.
  • Are fully symptom free for more than 14 days and are no longer infectious.
    • You may need to take the test for COVID-19 again to show you are now negative. It depends on the blood supplier.
    • The blood supplier may request more documentation. You may need a signature from your doctor’s office. Please do a virtual visit to get the paperwork you need.
  • Meet the requirements for traditional blood donation.

Use this link if you would like to donate plasma to support COVID-19 treatments:
https://www.aabb.org/tm/donation/Pages/Blood-Bank-Locator.aspx

Once on the website to find a place near you to donate plasma, enter your city and state. You may search within a certain distance. Click the down arrow by “Show location within:” to expand your search. Make sure to select the box after, “Only Show COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donation Locations.”

After you hit search, you will see blood suppliers in your area. Click on the name of the center to go to their website. On the website you will need to fill out a donor request form.
Once you submit the form, the supplier will call you with more information. Bring your ID with you. Your ID must match your donor intake forms and test results.

Here are a few regional donation centers:

Brainerd area: American Red Cross
1301 West St. Germain St., St. Cloud
1-800-733-2767

Duluth area: Memorial Blood Center
5115 Burning Tree Plaza, Duluth
1-888-448-3253

Fargo area: Vitalant
3231 South 11th St., Fargo
1-877-258-4825

Please reach out to your medical provider with any questions about this process.

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