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COVID-19 survivors in Las Vegas donate plasma to help patients, doctors

Posted at 7:31 PM, May 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 02:22:10-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — People who have recovered from COVID-19 may be able to donate their plasma to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

In Las Vegas, Vitalant’s West Charleston donor center (also known as the United Blood Center) Is already accepting donations.

One of the donors, Dr. Parisa Kahn, successfully recovered from COVID-19 after being in home quarantine for 41 days.

Dr. Kahn is a clinical pharmacist who specializes in infectious diseases with the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System.

She came down with symptoms in the early days of the pandemic, so it is uncertain exactly how she contracted COVID-19.

After weekly testing, she was finally confirmed negative on April 20 and cleared to return to work.

Once she became a COVID-19 survivor, she wanted to donate her plasma since it may have immune-boosting antibodies that could make a difference for both patients and doctors.

“If it’s a good match for the patients that we have that are critically ill right now, my first thought is obviously to be able to help them since I’m on their cases and helping with their treatment plans, but really anyone else that can benefit from this, I’m more than happy to help”, said Khan.

Before making her convalescent plasma donation, Kahn had to qualify for this no-cost procedure, which only collects plasma from your blood and returns donor's red blood cells to their system.

To qualify, Vitalant donor recruitment manager Jeannine McCoy says that eligible criteria includes:

  • Prior diagnosis of COVId-19, documented by a laboratory test.
  • Complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days
  • Meet all other current FDA donor eligibility requirements to donate plasma.

If you want to become a convalescent plasma donor, you can apply at Vitalant.org/covidfree or call 6866-CVPLSMA (866-287-5752).