Charleston, S.C. (WCBD) – The American Red Cross says the spike in COVID-19 cases has lead to an emergency plasma shortage.
If you have tested positive and recovered from COVID-19, medical professionals believe you will have COVID-19 antibodies that could potentially save those currently being treated.
Ben Williamson, Director of Communications for the American Red Cross of South Carolina, says the demand for convalescent plasma in hospitals has doubled in the last month.
“Right now, we can meet the hospital’s request in about 36 to 48 hours. Obviously, we would love to cut down on that and the only way we do that is again meeting the need here locally, getting donors who are willing to do that, and donate the convalescent plasma,” said Williamson.
Donors will be screened before donating and temperatures will be taken to follow CDC guidelines.
“All of our staff and volunteers will be wearing masks, they’re required to wear masks. And as a donor, you are required to wear a mask if you are going to give blood or donate convalescent plasma, so we encourage you to bring a mask. If you don’t have one, we’ll provide a mask for you,” Williamson mentioned.
One donation can help up to three people.
“Up until July 20th we have collected donations from about 10,000 people and have been able to distribute about 20,000 units of convalescent plasma,” noted Williamson.
Donations of convalescent plasma must to be made by appointment.
You have to visit the American Red Cross website to be approved as a donor.
There are two donation sites in the lowcountry.
Mount Pleasant: 952 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
West Ashley: 2000 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Charleston, SC 29407