Coronavirus Update:What patients and families need to know
Convalescent Plasma Program
Children's National Hospital is accepting donors who have recently recovered from COVID-19 infection. When a person recovers from an infection (has convalesced), they have antibodies that are primed to fight that infection. Antibodies circulate in plasma, which is the yellow liquid that transports and nourishes blood cells. These antibodies may help other patients who are currently very ill with COVID-19. Currently, there is no specific treatment that exists for the virus, which is why convalescent plasma is being used.
According to the FDA, individuals who have received a vaccine against COVID-19 are not eligible to donate convalescent plasma. This is because the immune response differs between those who have recovered from the disease and those who have been vaccinated. These changes may affect how helpful the plasma is for patients with COVID-19 infection. However, individuals who have been vaccinated are welcome to donate blood.
In order to donate convalescent plasma, the following apply:
- The donor must be at least 17 years of age
- The donor must have evidence of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test. This can be either a throat/nose swab (PCR) test or a blood (antibody) test.
- The donor must wait 14 days after either
- Symptom resolution or,
- Last positive throat/nose swab test, even without symptoms
- Women who have been pregnant must test negative for HLA antibodies (arranged after a blood draw in the Blood Donor Center)
- Male donors and female donors who have never been pregnant do not need to have this test performed
- A sample from the donation will be analyzed for COVID-19 antibodies.
- The donor must meet all of the other donor screening criteria
For questions about the Convalescent Plasma Program or to be screened to donate, please email us.