With the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Presbyterian Healthcare Services and the Vitalant blood center have additional need for convalescent plasma donations from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood. Convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 contains antibodies to the disease that can be given to patients which could help fight the illness, particularly in its early stages.

According to figures at the New Mexico Department of Health, 158 COVID-19 patients in Socorro County have recovered. Statewide, that number is over 24,000.

“By donating convalescent plasma, a donor potentially may save the lives of several COVID-19 patients,” Dr. Liz Rosenbaum, medical director for Vitalant, South Division, said.

Through this collaboration, plasma from recovered donors collected at Vitalant is given to select COVID-19 patients.

If individuals have previously tested positive for COVID-19 or have confirmed COVID-19 antibodies, have been symptom-free for at least 28 days, and would like to donate their convalescent plasma, visit https://www.vitalant.org/ COVIDFree.

Eligibility criteria for donors are:

• Prior diagnosis of COVID-19, documented by a laboratory test, or have a confirmed positive Vitalant COVID-19 supplemental antibody test.

• Complete resolution of symptoms for at least 28 days.

• Meet all other current FDA donor eligibility requirements to donate plasma