BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Vitalant, the country’s oldest and largest national independent non-profit transfusion medicine organization, has now launched a campaign to help COVID-19 patients by encouraging people to donate life-saving blood and convalescent plasma.
The campaign is called Because of You, Life Doesn’t Stop.
Vitalant says recovered COVID-19 patients have immune-boosting antibodies in their plasma, which can be given to patients currently suffering from the virus in order to help them fight it off.
“Convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients is needed now because it contains protective antibodies that may fight the virus and hopefully improve the outcome of COVID infection. The need for these and all other types of blood donations has never been more immediate or more desperate. We believe that once Americans are fully aware of this crisis and the opportunity to save lives, they will respond as they always have in difficult times,” said Vitalant’s Chief Medical and Scientific Officer Dr. Ralph Vassallo.
“Vitalant in Louisiana looks forward to collecting more convalescent plasma donations to support the treatment and recovery of those suffering from COVID-19, said Mitzi Breaux, marketing and communication manager for Vitalant. “With many donations already completed, Vitalant and our donors are excited to be a part of the solution.”
Vitalant wants the public to be aware of these key factors when it comes to the immediate need for plasma and blood donations:
- Convalescent plasma therapy is the only currently-available investigational antibody-based treatment for COVID-19
- As shelter-in-place requirements are relaxed across the country, the weekly demand for blood components has increased by 25% compared to early April
- The need for blood is significantly increasing now that elective surgeries are being rescheduled
- Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for blood has continued for childbirth, cancer treatments, essential medical procedures, and everyday emergencies
- Resurgent use of blood requires an immediate increase in donations to maintain the U.S. blood supply
- Every blood donation can save up to three lives
As always, Vitalant urges those who can to donate blood as well. Vitalant says it’s taking precautionary measures to ensure donors are safe.
“We’re imploring the nation to come together, to support this mission and to recognize the immediate need for plasma and blood donations,” says Vitalant Chief of Marketing Clifford Numark. “Each individualized action can have an immense impact in providing a collective hope and promise to the American people during this time. We simply can’t do our life-transforming work without you.”
Vitalant’s Baton Rouge facility is located at 8234 One Calais (service road at I-10 and Essen Lane).
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