Donate Convalescent Plasma

Recovered from COVID-19? We need your plasma.

Convalescent Plasma FAQs

Please review these questions and answers for more information about convalescent plasma. If you have more questions, call us at 815-965-8751 to speak to a Donor Advocate.

What is convalescent plasma?

Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood that is collected from patients who have recovered from an infection. Antibodies present in convalescent plasma are proteins that might help fight the infection.

Is the Rock River Valley Blood Center collecting convalescent plasma?

Yes! Our local hospitals are using convalescent plasma to treat patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

I recently recovered from COVID-19. Can I donate convalescent plasma?

Yes, you can! If you had a positive COVID-19 nasal pharyngeal test or a positive serological test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, please bring the test results with you to your appointment. If you do not have your test results, please notify the blood center staff at registration that you tested positive for COVID-19 and want to donate your plasma.

You also must be eligible to donate blood – be in general good health and weigh at least 110 pounds.

How often can I donate convalescent plasma?

You can donate your plasma as often as every seven days.

Is the Rock River Valley Blood Center testing for COVID-19?

No, we do not test for COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Is the Rock River Valley Blood Center testing for COVID-19 antibodies?

Yes, on 8/31/20, RRVBC began testing all successfully donated units of blood for COVID-19 antibodies in hopes of finding blood donors who possess antibodies to COVID-19. These individuals can help others diagnosed with COVID-19 by donating convalescent plasma (CCP).

The antibody test will be included with other standard tests performed on donated blood. COVID-19 antibody testing will not be done for those who are deferred or on donations that are not successful.

An antibody test is used to determine if someone has been exposed to the virus and developed an immune response. This type of test is not a diagnostic test and will not be used to determine if someone is currently infected. Test results will be available seven to 10 days after the donation on the donor portal. Donors with positive test results will be contacted by the blood center to determine if they can make a convalescent plasma donation.

Click here for more details on antibody testing.

Why is convalescent plasma being investigated to treat COVID-19?

While there is no proven treatment for COVID-19, it is possible that convalescent plasma collected from recovered COVID-19 patients contains antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) and might provide passive immunity for some COVID-19 patients.

Is convalescent plasma safe and effective against COVID-19?

It is not known if convalescent plasma will be an effective treatment against COVID-19.

Plasma transfusions are generally safe and well-tolerated by most patients but can cause allergic reactions and other side effects. It is also not known if patients with COVID-19 might have other types of reactions to convalescent plasma.

While it is not known if convalescent plasma is safe and effective against COVID-19, there is anecdotal evidence that convalescent plasma might be effective for some patients.

Because there are no approved treatments for COVID-19, the FDA is permitting the emergency investigational use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 under the criteria of the emergency IND.

Who should I contact if I want to donate convalescent plasma?

If you meet the criteria listed above, call us at 815-965-8751 to make an appointment.