New York Blood Center, the Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish Community, Ahavas Chesed and COVID Plasma Initiative partnered for a convalescent plasma drive on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. The drive took place from 9am to 9pm at the Oholei Torah Ballroom in Crown Heights. New York Blood Center (NYBC) collected donations from 200 participating donors, enough to treat 600 patients suffering from coronavirus.
NYBC is shipping convalescent plasma to the hardest hit states, including Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and California. These efforts are part of a federal initiative with the Department of Health and Human Services to increase the amount of convalescent plasma available to treat patients nationwide.
Patients are transfused with the donor’s plasma, with the goal being to use the donor’s antibodies to help clear the virus more rapidly, and help decrease the need for ICU beds and ventilators. Each donation can be used to treat two to three patients struggling with severe cases of COVID-19. To date, NYBC has collected over 34,000 units of convalescent plasma.
“Now is an extremely critical time to donate plasma because cases are surging throughout the US at alarming rates. In our experience, convalescent plasma is a life saver and no person in need, anywhere, should go without it,” said Christopher D. Hillyer, MD, President and CEO, of New York Blood Center. “Until a vaccine arrives, convalescent plasma is lining up as ‘first-choice therapy’ for this deadly disease.”