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Getting Answers: How to donate convalescent plasma

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TUCSON (KVOA)- The American Red Cross is urging people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their convalescent plasma.

This comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization for convalescent plasma as a treatment for COVID-19.

"We've seen an increase in the demand for convalescent plasma almost double over the last month across the country," said Courtney Slanaker, the executive director of the American Red Cross Serving Southern Arizona.

Slanaker said so far they have received more than 300 donations so far in southern Arizona.

She said the process to donate includes a machine taking blood out, separating it and pulling out the plasma. Then it returns the red blood cells and platelets back to the body.

The FDA concluded that this may be effective in treating COVID-19 because convalescent plasma contains antibodies.

People who are eligible to donate their plasma have to be fully recovered from COVID-19, have been symptom free for 14 days and have a verified diagnosis.

There are two blood donations centers in Tucson accepting convalescent plasma donations. To sign up to donate, fill out and submit this form with the American Red Cross.

If you have a question about the coronavirus, email GettingAnswers@KVOA.com.

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Priscilla Casper

Priscilla Casper is an anchor and multi-skilled journalist for News 4 Tucson. She anchors weekdays at noon and 5 p.m.

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