KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Starting on September 7, MEDIC Regional Blood Center will restart COVID Convalescent Plasma collections. MEDIC stopped collecting CCP in March as patient numbers were decreasing and there was a nationwide stock available.
As COVID patients increase, the nationwide stock has decreased. There are now less than 10,000 units available according to MEDIC. The CCP collected by MEDIC will be processed and distributed to the 24 hospitals in East Tennessee and Southeastern Kentucky.
Blood donated by people who’ve recovered from COVID-19 has antibodies to the virus that causes it. The donated blood is processed to remove blood cells, leaving behind liquid plasma and antibodies. These can be given to people with COVID-19 to boost their ability to fight the virus.
“This is a great opportunity for our community members to rally and help one another,” said director of communications Kristy Altman. “Regional numbers have been rising steadily and we are shipping dozens of units every day to our hospitals. If someone has had COVID and is recovered, this is an excellent opportunity for them to help someone.”
To donate, someone needs a positive lab test within the past 6 months, and be symptom-free for 14 days prior to donating. Appointments are required for CCP collections and can be made by calling 865-521-2682. Donors will also need to fill out paperwork that can be found at www.medicblood.org.
At all donor centers and community drives, masks or face coverings are required and will be provided if a donor does not have one.