Houston Methodist is renewing its call for recovered COVID-19 patients to donate convalescent plasma.
The local hospital was the first academic medical center in the nation to treat patients with convalescent plasma. Plasma is a yellow liquid obtained from recovered patients and, according to Methodist, it contains virus-fighting antibodies.
Although some institutions now disagree with the effectiveness, Methodist claims their studies indicate patients in the early stages of the disease are more likely to survive than similar patients who do not receive the treatment.
Recently, it’s getting harder to find donors. The hospital said they are getting about three units per day but they really need five times that amount.
Daniel Knight recovered from COVID in March 2020 and has donated plasma to Houston Methodist Hospital 17 times.
“I found it to be a very easy process. The staff was extremely professional and it doesn’t take as long as I thought it would,” Knight said.
Here’s what you need to donate:
• Proof of a positive molecular test (not an antibody test)
• COVID symptoms must have resolved for 14 days but within the past 6 months
• Receiving the vaccine does not disqualify individuals from donating
• They must have tested positive for COVID-19 before they received a vaccine
• Must be 18 years of age or older
Knight said he’s known people who’ve received plasma and wishes more survivors would help.
“I know if my situation was reversed and I was the one in the hospital, I would hope to God that people were donating plasma that might be able to get me out of the hospital and back to my family,” Knight said.
The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is no longer taking convalescent plasma donations.