BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If you’ve had COVID-19, there is one way you can help out those currently suffering from the virus.
A treatment for COVID-19 may be with those who’ve already recovered from the virus.
Experts say they’re looking at convalescent plasma as a treatment to use for patients during the pandemic.
“The use of plasma as a form of treatment for viruses is really one of our best shots at trying to get this virus under control,” Ascension Saint Agnes critical care and pulmonary physician Heidi Abdelhady said.
The plasma is in the blood of those who’ve recovered from COVID-19, and it could contain antibodies that could help patients recover faster and suffer less.
“Those antibodies can then be used to treat other COVID-19 patients and to help protect you from a reoccurrence of the virus,” said Regina Booth-Bratton of the American Red Cross.
There is a critical shortage of it, and the American Red Cross needs more donors. To qualify, you need to have a verified diagnosis of COVID-19, be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health.
“We really want to push these treatments earlier because the earlier we start treatment the less sick patients get and the faster they recover,” said Ascension Saint Agnes chief of pulmonary medicine Dr. Kala Davis-McDonald.
One plasma donation could save up to three lives. Doctors are urging residents to sign up now.
“We really need our community to come out and to donate and to replenish the supplies so that those fortunate can help those who are ill right now,” said Abdelhady.
To donate, go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-Red-Cross.
For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.