information provided by Vitalant
LANSING, Ill. (May 14, 2020) – Vitalant has launched a campaign to help COVID-19 and other patients through life-saving convalescent plasma and other blood donations. Vitalant is the oldest and largest national independent nonprofit transfusion medicine organization, and their campaign is intended to inspire people to take action and save lives, while reminding people that donations are both safe and essential.
Under the banner of ‘Because of You, Life Doesn’t Stop,’ Vitalant’s network of donation centers, including those in Lansing, are collecting and transfusing plasma from eligible donors convalescing from COVID-19.
Recovered COVID-19 patients have immune-boosting antibodies to the virus in their plasma, which can be given to patients currently fighting COVID-19.
Vitalant’s Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Dr. Ralph Vassallo said, “Convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients is needed now because it contains protective antibodies that may fight the virus and hopefully improve the outcome of COVID infection. The need for these and all other types of blood donations has never been more immediate or more desperate. We believe that once Americans are fully aware of this crisis and the opportunity to save lives, they will respond as they always have in difficult times.”
“We have been working with our local hospital partners as well as the Chicago Medical Society to identify potential donors for convalescent plasma. Our donors have shared their experience with the illness and how they wish to pay it forward to those patients currently in critical need through their plasma donation,” said Charles Wilcox, President, Northeast Region. Potential convalescent plasma donors are asked to learn more and complete the short form at www.vitalant.org/covidfree.
The Lansing Vitalant donation center is located at 2 River Place. All convalescent plasma donors must complete all information and schedule an appointment to donate as walk-ins are not possible with this specific type of donation.
- Convalescent plasma therapy is the only currently available investigational antibody-based treatment for COVID-19
- As shelter-in-place requirements are relaxed across the country, the weekly demand for blood components has increased by 25% compared to early April
- The need for blood is significantly increasing now that elective surgeries are being rescheduled
- Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for blood has continued for childbirth, cancer treatments, essential medical procedures, and everyday emergencies
- Resurgent use of blood requires an immediate increase in donations to maintain the U.S. blood supply
- Every blood donation can save up to three lives