SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - We are beginning to see some hope that comes from the positive cases of Coronavirus. In the United States, more than 20,000 people have recovered from the virus, and an emergency clinical trial is proving that their blood plasma can help others recover as well. Researchers say someone who has had and beat COVID-19 has antibodies in their plasma that can help others fight the virus.
As scientists and medical professionals all across the world have been racing to find a remedy to stop the viruses momentum, the FDA has approved this treatment in hopes to save lives sooner. Today, we spoke to the City of Miami’s Mayor, Francis Suarez, who just became the first Florida resident to recover and donate his plasma.
“What we wanted to do was to set the example, and let people know that once your fight with COVID-19 is over, your obligation to help other people begins. You have antibodies.. whether it’s to help create a vaccine or to donate plasma. Whatever it is, we have to continue this fight and help other people who are struggling much more than we are,” City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez explained.
Donors must have a documented positive COVID-19 test result, they then have to be symptom free for at least 14 days, and test negative – twice – before donating. Plus, they will also go through a screening process similar to blood donation.
“It was very simple. Just go on to the One Blood website, and you can schedule it right there. It was basically just like taking out blood. For me, it only took about five minutes,” Mayor Suarez tells us, “When you donate, you can donate to a specific donor or you can donate just to anyone. You don’t have to go through the process of trying to match somebody.”
Although this is still considered experimental, plasma therapy was used to treat other pandemics like the Spanish Flu and SARS in the past. Each donation can help three other patients who are currently fighting for their lives.
“It makes me feel like I can still help. It makes me feel like what I went through, and what other people are going through, is not in vain. It’s not just getting sick and then getting healthy, but that you can do something positive with it. Hopefully, now they’re able to develop some sort of vaccine. In part, probably through testing of the blood of those people who now have antibodies to the sickness,” Mayor Suarez expressed.
Any recovered COVID-19 patient on the Suncoast can donate their plasma to help save others. Currently, Suncoast Blood Bank is looking for people to help. For more information, click here.