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Critical shortage of plasma to treat Covid-19 patients as El Paso hospitalizations climb

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A recovered Covid-19 patient who has passed his 14-day quarantine, donates plasma.

EL PASO, Texas -- An urgent call is being put out across El Paso for an increase in plasma contributions as donations facilities continue to run dangerously low on supply while the current surge in Covid-19 cases continues to push local hospitals to their absolute limits.

Every donation helps but the most valuable contributions by far come from those El Pasoans who've already beaten this virus.

"We have over 500 recovered patients in the El Paso area alone and we have only gotten 12 recovered donations," said Vitalant marketing manager Carla Alexander. "Much as your body develops antibodies for any illness once you've had it and fights it off, then those antibodies are in their plasma."

But even so, any and all donations are currently considered blessings by the donation service staff in west El Paso.

"The people who have worked here for 30 years or more have never seen anything like this," said Alexander. "This is unprecedented as far as trying to get donations and it is unprecedented as far as the recovered plasma."

As soon as donations are processed they go to local hospitals to help people like the Covid-19 patient and registered nurse who emailed ABC-7 saying in part, "my doctors would like to administer antibodies from
recovered patients but none are currently available in my blood type. Please remind our community how important antibody donation from
recovered patients can be."

Any donation takes less than an hour and doubles as a way to check to see if someone has developed antibodies for the virus.

For those who have recovered from the virus and want to donate, you can start that process by clicking here.

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is a former ABC-7 reporter who co-anchored Good Morning El Paso weekends.


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