FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2020
Anchorage, AK – Today the first donor to provide convalescent plasma after recovering from COVID-19 donated in Anchorage at Blood Bank of Alaska (BBA). As patients recover from COVID-19 BBA is encouraging them to consider donating their plasma, which has antibodies that can help treat patients infected with the same disease.
This request comes from a nationwide effort from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to offer an additional form of treatment for critically ill patients of COVID-19. While clinical trials are currently being performed for widespread use of this treatment, the FDA has authorized patients with, or at risk of, severe or life-threatening COVID-19 disease to receive this treatment through an expanded access program. Donors must be fully recovered and provide valid documentation of their recovery.
“We are happy that the community is responding to this effort,” stated Robert Scanlon, CEO of Blood Bank of Alaska. “While some donors prefer to remain anonymous, they are heroes and we are hopeful about this new treatment option”.
There is currently no evidence indicating that SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2), the virus responsible for causing COVID-19, can be transmitted via blood transfusion.
In addition to providing medical documentation showing that they have fully recovered from COVID-19, prospective convalescent plasma donors must meet all screening and eligibility requirements for regular blood donation. Prospective donors may contact BBA at (907) 222-5630 for questions regarding eligibility.
Prospective donors are encouraged to visit https://www.bloodbankofalaska.org/covid-19 for more information on convalescent plasma, as well as how to become a donor. Pre-approval and an appointment are required.
BBA is currently only collecting convalescent plasma at their Anchorage main center (located at 1215 Airport Heights), as well as their Fairbanks facility (located at 3010 Airport Way). Please call (907) 222-5630 or visit https://www.bloodbankofalaska.org/covid-19 for additional information.
SARS-CoV-2 is novel (new) and clinical trials are still being performed regarding the effectiveness of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 patients. However, according to the FDA, convalescent plasma is a promising treatment that has also been studied in outbreaks of other respiratory infections including the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza virus pandemic, 2003 SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, and the 2012 MERS-CoV epidemic.
Blood Bank of Alaska
BLOOD BANK OF ALASKA
Blood Bank of Alaska supplies blood to 21 Alaska hospitals and medical centers. Blood Bank of Alaska and its donors are dedicated to serving the Alaska community by providing high-quality blood products and related laboratory services while meeting changing healthcare needs. Learn more at www.bloodbankofalaska.org