DAYTON — The first COVID-19 survivors to donate plasma since the launch of the Dayton region’s COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma program donated Tuesday, April 14 at Community Blood Center. Both are frontline health and public safety workers, and both are from Miami County where an early outbreak of infections occurred.
Troy’s Steve Norris, an Oakwood police officer, firefighter and EMT, is now the area’s third CCP donor. He was followed by Tipp City’s David Summers, a physician’s assistant at Upper Valley Medical Center and manager of the emergency department PA’s.
On April 6, before the launch of the public CCP program, Community Blood Center became the first blood center in Ohio to collect plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The antibodies present in convalescent plasma may help critically ill patients fight the infection.
CBC’s public program launched on April 10 in a joint announcement with Premier Health, the first health system in the nation to enroll a recovered COVID-19 patient in this experimental therapeutic treatment using protocols established by the Mayo Clinic.
Norris said his symptoms started with a cough. He was tested for COVID-19 at UD Arena. By the time he learned he was positive for the virus he was nearly recovered. He said he learned about donating CPP from a Facebook post about the plight of COVID-19 patient Dr. Mukul Chandra, medical director of cardiac preventive care and research at Miami Valley Hospital.
“It’s good to be able to do something with this,” Norris said. “We hear all about the negative aspects of COVID and there’s plenty of them. But those who have recovered might have something in their blood to help people who are really, really sick. No sense in waiting when there are people really sick and dying.”
CCP donor David Summers was also motivated to help Dr. Chandra. He saw the impact of COVID-19 when Miami County suffered a cluster outbreak of deadly infections at a nursing home. He then experienced it when he became infected.
“We had a lot of really sick patients early in March,” he said. “We were kind of the first to get hit. I was surrounded by it. I was one of the first people to get tested at UD.”
He isolated himself in his basement, waiting for his test result, and trying to avoid infecting his wife, their eight-year old daughter and eight-month old son.
“I didn’t want to get anyone else sick,” he said. “I just lived in the basement for two weeks. I couldn’t walk across the room to go the bathroom without being short of breath.”
He avoided going to the ER because he didn’t want to endanger his colleagues. He recovered at home, returned to work April 6, and was encouraged to donate CCP. His plasma donation Tuesday was his first ever blood donation.
“I hate the sight of my own blood, I don’t mind seeing other people’s,” he said. “But this was a special circumstance. “It’s good for people to know they can help. I know because I’m in the business.”
Community Blood Center is now recruiting eligible COVID-19 survivors to donate Convalescent Plasma (CCP). Their antibody-rich plasma has the potential to save the lives of critically ill COVID-19 patients. Information for donors and physicians is on the CBC website www.GivingBlood.org. Potential CCP donors can review the eligibility criteria and doctors can complete the form needed to qualify the potential donor for the program.
Donors urged to wear face masks at blood drives.
Community Blood Center is urging all donors to wear a face mask at blood drives. Donors are also encouraged to make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com or by calling (937) 461-3220 to maintain social distancing at blood drives and efficient blood collection.
Community Blood Center is checking the temperature of donors before they enter a blood drive as an additional safeguard against the transmission of COVID-19. All CBC staff members wear face masks and donors are encouraged to wear a face mask or face covering.
CBC is setting strict limits on capacity at blood drives to enforce social distancing and avoid over-collection. If donors find all appointments filled, they are asked to please schedule on a different day.
CBC ask donors for commitment as cancellations increase.
The regional blood supply remains at an adequate level despite escalating blood drive cancellations due solely to unprecedented low usage at area hospitals.
With many unknowns ahead as COVID-19 infection reaches its peak, Community Blood Center must prepare for the potential impact on the blood supply by asking donors to keep their commitment and make appointments to donate at www.DonorTime.com call (937) 461-3220.
Dayton Donor Center Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Do not be afraid to donate!
• The blood supply is safe, and it is safe to donate.
• Donors must be in good health. People with any cough or cold symptoms should not come to a blood drive. Take your temperature before coming to a blood drive.
• There are no reported cases of coronavirus transmission through blood transfusion.
• CBC is increasing hygienic and sanitary procedures.
• Blood drives are an essential activity for public health. They are controlled events with infection safeguards to protect donors, staff, and blood products.
• Make an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.
Blood donation requirements: Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors are also asked to bring their CBC donor ID card. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years old with parental consent: form available at www.givingblood.org or at CBC branch & blood drive locations), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (you may have to weigh more, depending on your height), and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1(800)388-GIVE. Make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com.
For more information about Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services®, visit www.givingblood.org.