Armed Forces News

People who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for at least two weeks are being asked to step forward and donate plasma. The Defense Health Agency (DHA) is assisting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), by collecting COVID-19 Coalescent plasma – the liquid part of the blood from patients who have recovered from the virus – at 15 major military treatment facilities (MTFs) across the country and in Germany. DHA hopes to collect more than 8,000 units of Coalescent plasma by Sept. 30.

Patients at military treatment facilities who are stricken with the virus
would be treated with the plasma, as long as they meet specific medical criteria and protocols.

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Donors must meet certain criteria. Among them, they must:

* Test positive for COVID-19 antibodies.
* Be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health.
* Produce evidence that they have tested positive for COVID-19. This can be in the form of either diagnostic or positive serological tests.

People who meet these standards must contact their local blood-donor center for more information. If they qualify, they then would set up an appointment.
Women who have ever been pregnant may be given another test, if human leukocyte antigen (HLA) antibodies were developed during their last pregnancy.
Donations are voluntary. Medical experts believe that people who have caught and survived COVID-19 possess antibodies in their plasma that could be used to aid in the recovery of those at MTFs and VA facilities who now suffer from the illness. It is hoped that clinical studies of these plasma treatments would foster a greater understanding of the illness, and how to fight it.

The following locations have blood-donation centers that are participating in the plasma-collection effort:

* Forts Benning and Gordon, Georgia; Bliss and Hood, Texas; and Bragg, North Carolina.
* Joint Bases Lewis-McChord, Washington; San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston; yji85gg and San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.
* Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi.
* Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany.
* Naval Hospital Guam.
* Naval Medical Centers Portsmouth, Virginia, and San Diego.
* Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii.
* Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Maryland.