ROCKFORD, Ill. (July 30, 2020) – The Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) joins national leaders and America’s Blood Centers in asking more individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma to help others affected by the virus.
The White House made an urgent plea for convalescent plasma during today’s presidential press briefing. To be eligible to donate convalescent plasma, individuals must meet all regular blood donor requirements (be in general good health and weigh at least 110 pounds), be completely symptom-free for at least 14 days, and have a laboratory-confirmed test for COVID-19.
America’s Blood Centers is the national trade association for independent community blood centers. RRVBC and other members are responsible for nearly 60% of the nation’s blood supply and have been at the forefront of convalescent plasma collections in the U.S. during the past four months (responsible for nearly 80% of convalescent plasma collection so far). To date, independent community blood centers (non-American Red Cross) have distributed more than 100,000 units of convalescent plasma to patients in need.
“There is an ongoing need for plasma and blood donations, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause cancellations of mobile blood drives and restrict access to places like schools and businesses,” said Heidi Ognibene, director of operations for the Rock River Valley Blood Center. “Donating plasma and blood is safe, and those products we collect meet local needs first, so donating has real, immediate impact on local lives.”
The Rock River Valley Blood Center has collected 106 units of convalescent plasma so far and is actively seeking recovered COVID-19 patients who had a positive nasal swab test and would be willing to donate. Those interested should call 815-965-8751 or visit rrvbc.org.
There is also a need for convalescent plasma donors to keep giving. These individuals can donate plasma every 28 days, which is more frequent than whole blood (every 56 days).
About Rock River Valley Blood Center
The Rock River Valley Blood Center is your community blood center and is the only provider of blood products and services to Mercyhealth’s Javon Bea Hospital-Rockton, Mercyhealth’s Javon Bea Hospital-Riverside, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, SwedishAmerican Hospital, SwedishAmerican Regional Cancer Center, SwedishAmerican Medical Center-Belvidere, Beloit Health System, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, FHN-Freeport and Rochelle Community Hospital. The center has four convenient donor centers in Rockford, Belvidere and Freeport and the ability to support up to three mobile drives a day. The Rock River Valley Blood Center ensures that the right blood type is available at the right time for local patients whose lives may depend on it. Patients and their families rely on individuals to provide life-giving red blood cells, plasma, and platelets through blood donation.