Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) is in need of convalescent plasma donations and one Norman Regional Health System healer has already stepped up to fill that need.

Why is there a need for convalescent plasma?

Orders for convalescent (CCP) have sharply increased in parallel with the local surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations – by 700% in recent weeks, said Lori Jeppesen, hospital relations regional manager for OBI.

OBI is taking “extraordinary steps” to increase CCP production to meet and exceed this demand, Jeppesen added. OBI needs donors who recently recovered from COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for 14 days or who have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies in their bloodstream.

OBI offers a free antibody test with blood donations. 

A healer's donation 

Heather Swinney, coordinator for Norman Regional’s volunteer services, donated CCP Friday, July 31 at OBI’s blood donation center in Norman after receiving a positive antibody test.

“I thought, ‘why not?’ I can do my part in helping care for others,” Swinney said. “There is a great need for it and I think it’s great to help out any way you can. It’s a simple way to help. It was super easy and everyone was so kind. They let me get snacks before and made sure I was feeling comfortable.”

Swinney said the donation was not painful and only took about an hour. One CCP donation can provide therapeutic plasma for two to four seriously ill patients.

“Donate if you can – whether it’s plasma or blood. You could save a life by a simple donation that takes an hour of your time.”

How to donate 

To register to donate CCP, visit the National COVID-19 Plasma Registry or call the convalescent plasma hotline at 888-308-3924. Positive test results for COVID-19 or for the antibodies can be faxed to 405-278-3140 or emailed to results@bio-linked.org.

Norman Regional's antibody test

Norman Regional also offers a $31 antibody test at several Norman Regional Lab locations, including:

Click here to find out more about the test.