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If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and recovered from the virus, public health officials want you to help save someone else's life.
Two COVID-19 convalescent plasma drives will be held in Sumter in July to provide those who have recovered from the virus the chance to donate their blood and the antibodies in it, which are proteins the body uses to fight off infections. A drive will be held at the Sumter County Civic Center, 700 W. Liberty St., on Thursday, July 9, and another will be held on Thursday, July 30, at the American Legion Building at 34 S. Artillery Drive.
Both events will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and whole blood donations will also be collected, according to Prisma Health, which is holding the drive with The Blood Connection. Whole blood donors will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.
Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood. The donated blood plasma that has COVID-19 antibodies can be made into convalescent serum and given to approved patients within days.
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 donor lab results showing a positive test for COVID-19 that shows the date of the positive test.
- A document from their health care provider stating the donor had a positive test for COVID-19 and the date of the positive 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.
- This is NOT a COVID-19 diagnostic testing site; antibody results do not confirm infection or immunity.
The process of donating plasma takes a little over 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 convalescent plasma, contact Jill Williamson at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital (803) 774-8658 to make an appointment.
To donate whole blood, contact The Blood Connection at (864) 751-1168.
For information about COVID-19 testing site locations, a symptom checker or a free virtual exam, visit www.PrismaHealth.org.
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