The Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center is one of many military centers that is investigating convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19.
Convalescent plasma is the liquid part of blood from patients who have recovered from an infections. Antibodies present in convalescent plasma are proteins that can help patients fight an active infection.
“The plasma that we collect can be used as a therapeutic to treat other individuals with more severe cases of COVID-19, said Lt. Col. Brendan Graham, the Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center director.
There is no approved treatment for this disease at this time but information suggests that it might help some patients recover, according to the Center for Disease Control guidance.
The Fort Bragg Blood Donor Center is welcoming donors that have recovered from the virus to come participate in the convalescent plasma collection.
“If you have a documented positive test result, and have not had any symptoms from the infection for 14 days… we would love to talk to you about being a convalescent plasma donor,” said Graham.
Possible donors that would like to help can donate at any Armed Service Blood Program location except:
Wright-Patterson, Pentagon, Fort Leonard Wood, U.S. PACOM Armed Services Blood Program and Blood Processing Division, Great Lakes.
Donald Perry, a Fort Bragg civilian employee, recently recovered from COVID-19 and donated his plasma.
“I think it’s very important to actually donate the plasma for the antibodies to help those out that have it a lot worse than I had it,” said Perry. “It’s very important to help them as much as possible.”
Donors that are not near a participating location, should find their local civilian collection center to support the effort.
The military blood donor centers are encouraging their community to donate whatever they can – blood or plasma.
“This is the time to encourage the community to step up and donate – during a developing crisis – and help their brothers and sisters in arms stand ready…” said Lt. Gen. Ronald Place, the Defense Health Agency director.