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If you’ve recovered from COVID-19, you could save someone else’s life

The process uses convalescent plasma and is similar to a blood donation

ST. LOUIS — People who have recovered from COVID-19 could be the key to saving patients now fighting the virus.

The White House, medical professionals, and FDA are asking for recovered patients to donate convalescent plasma found in the blood of people who have recovered from the coronavirus.

People who have recovered from the coronavirus have made antibodies against the virus, which are found in plasma. The idea is that those antibodies, when transfused into an ill patient, can control the infection.

With the support of national leaders and medical professionals, the American Red Cross is hoping to increase the amount of plasma donations, said Joe Zydlow, the communications manager for American Red Cross Blood Services.

"It's neat to see us all kind of rally around this and work together to help the community," he said. "That's what it's about."

While this is not a vaccine, it can save lives. One donation can help up to four patients.

Several blood banks are teaming up to take donations.

“It’s a new process for us. We really just kind of evolved this process in the last couple weeks when we partnered with ABB and ABC,” said Joe Zydlo, the communications manager for American Red Cross Blood Services.

Zydlo said the process to donate plasma is like donating platelets. The process takes a little longer than donating blood. There are several Red Cross locations across the bi-state that can accept donations.

People interested in donating plasma must complete an online eligibility form, and must not show symptoms of COVID-19 two weeks leading up to their appointment.

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