“During this uncertain time, the American Red Cross has adapted to meet the extraordinary challenges of this coronavirus pandemic and fulfill our lifesaving mission to alleviate suffering as we confront an emergency unlike any we have faced in a century.
In late March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a new initiative to collect plasma from those who have recovered from this new coronavirus to treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.
Since that time, the Red Cross, FDA and our industry partners have worked around the clock to put this new initiative in place by establishing a process to identify, qualify and collect convalescent plasma safely from recovered COVID-19 individuals, at both Red Cross and local blood collection organizations. To date, the Red Cross has distributed hundreds of convalescent plasma products and is projected to collect and process hundreds more this week. We are adding resources to qualify and collect from more donors in the weeks to come to help increase collections.
Thousands of potential donors have responded to our call to help patients seriously ill with active COVID-19 infections. However, until recently only a small percentage of individuals initially met FDA’s eligibility criteria, of having a verified COVID-19 diagnosis, as well as being symptom free for at least 28 days prior to donation or symptom free for at least 14 days prior to donation and having a negative COVID-19 test result.
On April 27, the Red Cross began testing for COVID-19 antibodies for convalescent plasma donations from eligible donors in collaboration with our partner, Creative Testing Solutions (CTS). This automated test is able to screen donated convalescent plasma for the presence of COVID-19 antibodies, allowing the Red Cross to simplify the eligibility process and qualify more potential donors.
Please note that the Red Cross is NOT providing COVID-19 antibody testing for members of the public or routine Red Cross blood, platelet or plasma donors.
The Red Cross is grateful to recovered COVID-19 patients who have stepped up in an effort to help someone in need during this difficult time. We recognize that so many want to provide support during this pandemic and the Red Cross continues to work aggressively to fulfill these emerging needs for patients across the country through our humanitarian mission.
Learn more about this effort at RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid.”