The Blood Bank of Delmarva will join other blood centers across the U.S. to collect plasma donations from people who have recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019 to treat other patients with advanced COVID-19 infections.

In the treatment, known as convalescent plasma, the patient is transfused with the donor’s plasma with the goal of using the donor’s antibodies to help clear the virus more rapidly. On March 24, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the collection of plasma from individuals who have recovered from coronavirus to treat seriously ill patients, and BBD will be joining this effort.

“We’re proud to partner with leading medical institutions from Delmarva and beyond in developing this potential treatment,” said Beth H. Shaz, chief medical and scientific officer at New York Blood Center Enterprises. “If this treatment proves to be effective, we are prepared to quickly scale our process and activate our network to serve hospitals nationwide.”

Qualified donors will be referred to BBD by area hospitals and the FDA will approve patients for the treatment on a case-by-case basis. Once donor eligibility is confirmed by BBD’s hospital partners, BBD will collect the donations, process the plasma for infusion and deliver to hospitals to treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections.

BBD will only accept donors who have recovered from COVID-19 after they have been evaluated and confirmed by a physician. Convalescent plasma donors must have complete resolution of symptoms for at least 14 days before they are allowed to visit the blood center for donation. This will ensure that only fully recovered individuals are donating.

For more, visit delmarvablood.org/plasmaforcovid19.