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PRC opens own plasma center

Michelle R. Guillang

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The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Monday opened its convalescent plasma center where COVID-19 survivors could donate their antibodies to help patients currently battling the coronavirus disease.

The facility is located in the PRC’s National Blood Center in Port Area, Manila — the private group’s former headquarters.

PRC chairman and Senator Richard Gordon claimed that they have exerted themselves to open the center as medical experts from the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) affirmed that most COVID-19 patients have recovered after undergoing the convalescent plasma therapy.

The therapy includes transfusion of the plasma from a person who is fully healed from COVID-19 to a patient who is presently ill with the respiratory disease.

Neutralizing antibodies circulating in their plasma can fight off the infection, the medical experts claimed.

“We strived to have a convalescent plasma center to give hope to the Filipinos with COVID. Those who have recovered from COVID can donate their blood so we can transfuse it to patients who are still in their battle against COVID,” Gordon said.

“Doctors from the PGH said that nine out of 10 have recuperated because of convalescent plasma. This is one of our weapons against COVID,” he added.

It will boost their immune system, improving its overall capability to fight the coronavirus, he said.

“Individuals who have recovered from COVID and intend to give blood can call to our hotline 09175820499 or 143. It has to be quick so the help can be extended quickly,” the lawmaker added.

To donate plasma, recovered patients between the ages 18 to 65, would have to undergo physical and medical examinations and should meet the criteria to be considered a qualified donor.

Their blood samples will be tested to see if their COVID antibody levels are therapeutic for recipient patients.

This week, PRC’s frontliners who had COVID-19 have donated blood, the center’s initial supply of convalescent plasma.

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