Memorial Blood Centers Makes Push for Convalescent Plasma Donors
In this season of giving, Memorial Blood Centers serve as a reminder that the most important gifts aren’t the ones you find wrapped under a tree.
“Our mission is to save lives through blood donation,” said Wendy Capetz, a spokesperson for Memorial Blood Centers. “And we need blood every day. All types of blood every day.”
While people are certainly answering that call, Bob Berens made his way to the Plymouth donor center earlier this month to make a very specific type of donation.
“I’m hopeful that it’s going to be meaningful,” Berens said. “That somebody is gonna benefit from this.”
You see, Berens is one of the more than 300,000 Minnesotans who contracted COVID-19 this year.
“I had a headache. I had a body ache, pain,” Berens said. “And I don’t think I had a fever.”
He calls his case “mild,” but he knows that others battling COVID aren’t as fortunate. So for the first time ever, he’s donating convalescent plasma.
“I want every tool in the tool box to be available to get them through this, and this is just the simplest tool in the world,” he said.
An important tool for COVID treatment
It’s a tool that experts say could very well help health care professionals treat patients in need.
“So someone who has recovered from COVID has antibodies in their blood that is contained in their plasma, and while there’s no proven treatment for COVID, there have been studies that show that convalescent plasma administered to people who have immediately life threatening conditions can help them,” Capetz said.
Now, MBC is asking more people to be like Berens, and consider donating plasma if they’ve recovered from COVID-19.
“Please, go out and do it,” Berens said.
It’s a task that takes up an hour of a donor’s time, while they sit in a comfy chair. And in the end, it could help save somebody’s life.
“It’s a minor pinch to help somebody who’s really sick and really needs your help,” Capetz said.