St. Luke’s Medical Center calls for blood plasma donations from COVID-19 survivors

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26)— A major hospital is looking for blood plasma donors among COVID-19 survivors to help patients battling the virus, a doctor from the institution said Friday.

Dr. Francisco Lopez, a hematologist at St. Luke's Medical Center, said COVID-19 survivor donors are preferred as they would have “a lot of antibodies.”

“We also saw that in some donors, their antibodies wane over time,” Lopez told CNN Philippines’ The Source. “So preferable those who have moderate to severe illness, and who got it around maybe around November or December— these are the ones who will give us a lot of antibodies.”

Medical experts have looked to plasma therapy to potentially improve chances of recovery.

Citing a study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lopez said the plasma, if given within 72 hours to patients with mild COVID-19 and comorbidities, can help prevent severe and critical COVID-19.

Lopez said St. Luke’s has no reserve plasma stock since these have a short shelf life.

“The longer you wait, the virus is multiplying in your body,” he said. “When we get donors who come in, it’s distributed right away to both St. Luke’s Global and St. Luke’s QC.”

FAST FACTS: How to donate blood plasma for COVID-19 patients?

Those interested to donate may contact 09985821944 or visit St. Luke’s official social media pages.