As coronavirus cases surge, hospitals experience 'critical need' for plasma

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Posted at 6:09 AM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 07:21:26-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The American Red Cross said there is an urgent need for plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19, which can be used to help patients hospitalized with the virus.

"There is a critical need for convalescent plasma right now," Red Cross Spokesperson Sherri McKinney said. "This is literally life-saving blood product."

The plasma, when taken from people who had previously had the coronavirus, is rich with COVID-19 antibodies, which can help patients fight the virus.

The need for the plasma has spiked in recent weeks, as COVID-19 cases experience a post-holiday surge. On Thursday, state health officials said that Tennessee hospitals were currently treating nearly 3,000 coronavirus patients.

"So the need is great, this is a supply and demand issue and the demand is definitely there," McKinney said.

The American Red Cross is providing some added incentive for people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma. People who donate in the month of January will be entered to win a trip to the 2022 Super Bowl, as well as other prizes. You can make an appointment to donate at the Red Cross' website.