Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: Plasma Donations After COVID-19

Sentara Martha Jefferson Monday: Plasma Donations After COVID-19

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Anytime you get an infection, your body responds by activating the immune system.

“One of the main ways it does that is by making molecules called antibodies,” noted Dr. Keri Hall, an infectious disease specialist at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. “Those antibodies actually bind to the bacteria or virus and kill it.”

Dr. Hall says people who have recovered from COVID-19 can donate their plasma, which is where the antibodies live, to help those fighting the virus.

“If we can find those antibodies in people who have had the infection and then give them to people who are sick, it might help kill the virus,” said Dr. Hall.

Plasma donation involves nothing more than giving blood. It only takes a few minutes and people feel fine afterwards.

“Generally speaking, it’s a very safe treatment,” said Dr. Hall.

For the donor, it also has no effect on their own potential to fight the virus, should they be faced with COVID-19 again.

“Giving plasma will not affect the amount of antibodies they have left if they get exposed,” noted Dr. Hall.

If you are interested in donating plasma, please visit redcrossblood.com, click on “Donate Blood” and then click on “COVID-19 and Blood Donation”.

If you have a question about your health you’d like us to answer, email healthquestions@nbc29.com.

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