During the pandemic, plasma has become a much talked about component of blood as COVID-19 convalescent plasma started being used as a potential treatment for those suffering from the virus. But what many may not know is that, while COVID-19 convalescent plasma may be new and in direct response to the pandemic, the collection and use of plasma for medical treatments isn’t. In fact, plasma has been a lifesaving element of medical care for decades.
So, what’s the difference between plasma and convalescent plasma?
Plasma has been collected and transfused since the 1940s to help patients. During medical treatment, patients may receive whole blood or just the specific blood components they need, including plasma.
Convalescent plasma is different from AB plasma. COVID-19 convalescent plasma specifically, has been collected and transfused as a response to the pandemic, starting in April 2020.
All blood types and donation types are needed to ensure a stable blood supply to help all kinds of patients every day across the country.
The Red Cross urges eligible individuals who are feeling well to please make an appointment today to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-RED-CROSS.
With more and more individuals receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, the Red Cross wants people to know that, in most cases, there is no blood donation deferral time after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. However, knowing the name of the vaccine manufacturer is important in determining blood donation eligibility. View a video on blood donation and COVID-19 vaccines.