Desperate need for convalescent plasma donors


Convalescent plasma appears to be a major factor in treating the novel coronavirus.

Its use is still investigational but so promising there is an urgent call for donors from medical experts.

The process works by taking antibodies from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 and transfusing them into a sick person so their immune system attacks the virus.

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George Tzagournis donated plasma this week through the American Red Cross. He said it was the right thing to do as someone who’d fully recovered from COVID-19 in mid-March. Tzagournis marked his first asymptomatic day on March 28.

The milestone put him a category that OhioHealth infectious disease specialist Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, who is on the 10TV Team of Experts, urged to make life-saving donations.

“The whole theory is that when you recover from COVID-19, your body produces antibodies and in that situation we call that special component of the blood convalescent plasma,” said Dr. Gastaldo.

The call for convalescent plasma is now mutual among all hospital systems. People who have recovered from a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, are older than 17, and symptom-free for at least 14 days, can be screened for donation.

Just this week The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center transfused the first patient in central and northern Ohio this way.

For more information, click here.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

There are now 31,625 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio; 1,888 people have died from the virus and 5,773 were hospitalized, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Breakdown of Ohio cases by county >>

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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