11 July 2024

The Red Cross is appealing for plasma donations from fully recovered COVID-19 patients, because it may contain the antibodies which can help others infected by the virus.

Donors must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 50 kilograms. They must be in good health and must have a prior, verified diagnosis of COVID-19, but are now symptom free.

Assoc.Prof. Dr. Dootchai Chaiwanichsiri, the director of the Red Cross’s National Blood Center said, after the plasma drive in April last year, over 400 people registered to donate the plasma. Only 152 of those were, however, able to donate, producing 383 bags of viable COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (CCP).

A device used to collect blood plasma from people who have recovered from the COVID-19 coronavirus, is seen at the Red Cross office in Surabaya, East Java on September 18, 2020. (Photo by JUNI KRISWANTO / AFP)

So far, five hospitals have used the CCP to treat nine patients, six of whom recovered, two are still receiving treatment, and one died.

The Red Cross is also evaluating whether serum, or COVID-19 Intramuscular Immunoglobulin (CIMIG), which is produced from CCP, is stable and safe enough for treatment.

The serum is being trialled in volunteers, with each receiving 6cc. They are now being assessed for the level of immunity developed and side effects.