We asked, and you answered. UCHealth Garth Englund Blood Center (GEBC) has had an amazing response to its requests for blood donations during the pandemic.
GEBC hosted two blood drives in Longmont this month. Both were full, and we are grateful for this huge show of support. UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital receives almost all of its blood product from GEBC.
GEBC is still hosting blood drives in the community but is respecting physical distancing by limiting appointments. Another drive is scheduled for May 19 at LPH. Sign up here.
For individual appointments, the center is booked through April. “We look forward to begin scheduling new donors in early May,” says Kaitlin Zobel, blood donor recruiter for GEBC. “We’ve had a large number of calls and are working to get back to everyone as soon as possible.”
A new way to help: convalescent plasma.
GEBC is now accepting convalescent plasma donations. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have special antibodies in their plasma that can help treat others currently critically ill with the virus. This promising treatment is described in an article from UCHealth Today, “Critically ill Evergreen man first in Colorado to receive ‘convalescent plasma’ to help fight COVID-19.”
Zobel says, “Right now, you must have proof of a positive COVID-19 test to qualify to make this donation. The FDA is working on a test to qualify those who believe they had the virus but didn’t have access to testing. We are hopeful the FDA will have this test completed soon, but we do not have a timeline.”
Anyone who believes they qualify to donate convalescent plasma can still contact GEBC. Email or call: Kaitlin.Zobel@uchealth.org or 970.495.8987. For more details about GEBC’s process for evaluating potential donors, visit bit.ly/GEBC-convalescent-plasma.
Thank you for answering the call for blood donations. Please continue to donate as much as you can.