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David Rodman and Tim Callan with San Diego Blood Bank staff. (Photo courtesy: San Diego Blood Bank

Recovered COVID-19 Patients Donate Convalescent Plasma at San Diego Blood Bank

Former Patients Hope to Help Patients Currently Fighting COVID-19

San Diego CA— San Diego Blood Bank sees first convalescent plasma donors step up to help patients in critical condition. One donation can support multiple patients. To date, 17 units have been sent to help patients fighting COVID-19.

  • Friends, David Rodman and Tim Callan, contracted COVID-19 on a group ski trip. When Tim heard about the opportunity to donate, he called up David and brought him to the donor center. Together, their donations can help as many as 8 people fight this virus.
  • Alena Silberman, a New York City resident, recently came to San Diego to visit family in Solana Beach. She believes she may have contracted the virus prior to landing in San Diego and plans to donate more convalescent plasma locally and in New York.
  • Robert Spears first heard of convalescent plasma when a friend on the east coast received plasma as an investigational new drug to treat COVID-19. Robert was excited for this unique opportunity to help others with this virus.

San Diego Blood Bank recently issued a call for recovered COVID-19 patients to help treat patients fighting the virus. While COVID-19 has no proven treatment, plasma taken from those who have recovered may help patients currently fighting the virus. This is because the plasma has developed antibodies against the virus.  Experience with historical infectious diseases, including the Spanish flu, sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS), and influenza H1N1 have shown that convalescent plasma can be a beneficial viral treatment and prophylactic medicine.

Mark Edmunds, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, San Diego Blood Bank stated, “I look forward to advancing the COVID-19 treatment and research efforts of our hospital providers and offering new hope to the COVID-19 patients we serve. Our efforts place SDBB at the leading edge of transfusion medicine in the face of this pandemic.”

“I think so many of us are eager to be of service at this time,” said Silberman. “As soon as I learned about the plasma donation process I applied right away. It felt like a no-brainer to me.”

San Diego Blood Bank has created a form where people can submit their contact information to be qualified for convalescent plasma donation.

Individuals can donate convalescent plasma if they have a confirmed positive laboratory test and no symptoms for the last 28 days. People with a subsequent confirmed negative test can donate after 14 days of symptom resolution. People are encouraged to fill out the form even if they have not yet been tested since antibody tests will be available in the future.

To submit contact information to be qualified as a convalescent plasma donor, visit www.sandiegobloodbank.org/donateplasma. Donors will also need to meet routine donor screening criteria.

To make an appointment to donate blood or make a financial donation, visit SanDiegoBloodBank.org. Donors must be 17 years or older, weigh a minimum of 114 pounds and be in general good health.

About San Diego Blood Bank

SDBB is dedicated to community health by providing a reliable supply of blood to patients in need. Our vision is to further ensure the health of our community by simultaneously delivering related health and wellness education and services and extending into research. SDBB is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves hospitals in San Diego, Orange, Imperial and Los Angeles counties with blood transfusion products and reference laboratory services. SDBB currently operates six local donor centers and 10 bloodmobiles. SDBB’s Cell Therapy Program provides lifesaving stem cell transplants to patients worldwide. For more information about SDBB, visit www.SanDiegoBloodBank.org or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.