Doctors say recovered COVID-19 patients can help by donating plasma

Doctors say recovered COVID-19 patients can help by donating plasma

FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - Mississippi continues to see a rise in coronavirus cases.

According to the Mississippi State Department of Health, we now have more than 52,000 cases in the Magnolia State. Out of that, health officials say more than 30,000 people are presumed to have recovered from COVID-19.

Dr. Tim Cole, who specializes in pathology at Forrest General Hospital, says those who have fully recovered from the virus can help during this pandemic.

“If they had a diagnosis established with a positive test, they can donate something we call convalescent plasma that can be used to treat patients with active infections to try to help get them through it,” Cole said.

Cole said patients with COVID-19 may improve faster if they receive plasma from someone who has recovered.

“The thought is you’ve been exposed to the virus and that your body will respond, your immune system will respond and make antibodies against that,” Cole said. “So, the convalescent plasma would have that component in your blood that would have the antibodies to help fight that.”

He said only those who have fully recovered from the virus should consider donating.

“There’s some things that you want to have, a prolonged waiting period before you donate, but an infection like this that is a short term infection that, you know, once you clear it you don’t pose an infectious risk,” Cole said. “Once you recover from the infection, you don’t pose any danger in transmitting that infection.”

To check if you have the infection-fighting antibodies in your blood, Cole suggests contacting your local blood bank.

“If you’ve had a diagnosed case of COVID and have recovered, you can contact Vitalant to see if you qualify for donating some plasma,” Cole said.

To schedule an appointment with Vitalant in Hattiesburg, you can call 877-258-4825.

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