In a bid to try and help the fight against COVID-19, Lifeblood has started collecting convalescent plasma from blood donation centres nation-wide.
Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that contains antibodies and once someone has recovered from COVID-19, the antibodies against the virus remain in their plasma.
As of Monday, Lifeblood donation centres, including the one in the McDonald’s Bathurst car park, have started to collect convalescent plasma.
“Plasma donated by people who have recovered from COVID-19 may help boost the immunity of patients still battling the disease,” Lifeblood chief executive officer Shelly Park said.
“The plasma we collect will be used to treat patients in clinical trials, both as a form of direct treatment and as a medication called COVID-19 Immunoglobulin, which may provide passive immunity against coronavirus infections.”
Convalescent plasma can only be donated by someone with a confirmed laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19, who has fully recovered from the virus and been symptom-free for at least 28 days.
In addition to the recovery period, donors need to meet Lifeblood’s eligibility criteria.
“We’ll be talking to hospitals and health departments in order to recruit donors as well as looking to our existing donors to identify suitable participants,” Ms Park said.
“We’re very proud to be part of this initiative that will support the important work and clinical trials being undertaken by researchers in Australia, and the development of COVID-19 Immunoglobulin by CSL Behring Australia.”
“Our convalescent plasma donors will have to satisfy the same strict eligibility criteria as our other donors and the process of collecting convalescent plasma is the same as the existing plasma donation process.”
Convalescent plasma is being trialled as a treatment for patients suffering from COVID-19 in a number of countries including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and China.
The option to donate convalescent plasma is being offered alongside regular blood donation operations.
Bathurst’s mobile blood donor centre will be open today from 9am to 3.30pm and Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
The centre will also be present in the McDonald’s Bathurst car park from May 25 to 27.
If you have recovered from a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and believe you may be eligible to donate, please call 13 14 95 and mention that you want to donate convalescent plasma or visit lifeblood.com.au.