Leadership from area hospitals are strongly urging people that have recovered from COVID-19 to give convalescent plasma (CCP) with Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), the sole supplier of blood and plasma to all area hospitals, to help others currently in local hospitals suffering from the virus. Usage of CCP in area hospitals has skyrocketed over the past several weeks, causing a critical shortage. There has been a 337 percent increase in CCP usage in area hospitals between August and October of this year. Usage levels have continued to increase during the first few weeks of November as well.
“With the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 increasing at an exponential rate, having supplies of convalescent plasma is more important than ever,” says Steve Edwards, President and CEO of CoxHealth, and board member of CBCO. “We ask everyone in our community who is eligible to donate at Community Blood Center of the Ozarks. These donations can make a make a great difference, and your impact is local, as plasma stays here to help patients in our communities. These donations may ultimately help save the life of someone you know.”
The FDA has authorized the usage of CCP for COVID-19 patients because of the tremendous promise it has shown in helping the critically ill. Antibodies present in plasma from recently recovered COVID-19 victims has been found to help those who currently have the virus and for some, it may be their only hope for recovering from the virus.
“We are the exclusive providers of convalescent plasma and all blood products to the area,” CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts said. “We are going to need to at least double our donation rates immediately to meet current needs. As the numbers of ill patients and CCP usage continue to climb, it is critically important now to give aid to local patients by giving to the local provider of blood for use in our community.”
CBCO is taking steps to make it easier to give. Referrals by area physicians used to be required but now if a potential donor has either written or electronic proof of a positive COVID-19 test and have recovered from the illness for 14 days, they can give if they meet general donation requirements. CBCO is now also able to provide up to a $100 Visa gift card thanks to FDA funding for this incentive due to the critical need for these very specific donors.
To make your donation appointment for giving convalescent plasma, please call 417-227-5324 during regular business hours. For more information on CCP donation, go online to https://www.cbco.org/covid19/.