Convalescent plasma donation drives Fridays at Tuomey outpatient center


Recovered COVID-19 patients will have the chance to help those still battling the virus every Friday in Sumter for the next few months.

Convalescent plasma collection events will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each week at the Prisma Health Tuomey Outpatient Rehabilitation Services center at 1215 Alice Drive. Whole blood donations also will be collected, and those donors will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.

People who have recovered from the coronavirus have developed antibodies to the disease, which are proteins the body uses to fight off infections, in their blood. Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood, and donated blood plasma can be made into a serum and given to patients within days. The convalescent plasma can help severely ill COVID-19 patients fight the virus by giving them the antibodies they may not be able to develop themselves.

How to donate

To donate convalescent plasma, donors must be at least 14 days symptom-free and will be asked to provide documentation of a positive COVID-19 test result or antibody test. Positive test documentation/results can include the following:

- A copy of the lab results showing a positive test and date for COVID-19; or

- A document from a health care provider stating the donor had a positive test for COVID-19 and the date of the test. This document must be on the letter-head or prescription pad of the health care provider and must be signed and dated by the health care provider.

Convalescent plasma drives do not provide COVID-19 diagnostic testing, meaning they don't test for active infections. Antibody tests do not confirm infection or immunity.

The process take a little more than an hour. That includes completing a questionnaire and a mini-physical, the donation itself (30-45 minutes) and a 15-minute wait period before leaving the facility.

To donate, contact Jill Williamson at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital at (803) 774-8658 or The Blood Connection at (864) 751-1168 to make an appointment.