LSU Health Shreveport is one of three medical facilities in the nation recruiting plasma donors from people who have recovered from COVID-19 to treat critically ill patients. School Chancellor Dr. G.E. Ghali says to donate you must have a prior documented lab test of the virus, be symptom-free for two weeks and a negative test result for COVID-19, or a previous positive test and symptom-free for 28 days. Ghali says you then donate blood to a LIfeshare blood center.

“And we will take their blood and run it through and siphon off the plasma, the plasma will have the antibodies and the antibodies will be administered to critically ill patients,” says Ghali

Ghali says it’s early, but so far results are encouraging and recruiting donors is vital.

“And it’s really going to be you know, a game-changer, particularly until we can get a vaccine which is probably a good nine to 12 months away,” says Ghali.

Ghali says the antibodies counteract the antigens of the virus in the body to keep the body’s immune system from overreacting to fight off the virus.

“Where all theses inflammatory mediators are dispersed throughout the body which causes direct damage to the body to many of the organs, particularly the respiratory system or the lungs,” says Ghali

To participate your physician must complete documents verifying your diagnosis and recovery before donating to a Lifeshare Blood Center.

(Story written by Brooke Thorrington/Louisiana Radio Network)