TIFTON — Southwell is joining with the American Red Cross in asking those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma.

The American Red Cross has an emergency shortage of convalescent plasma as coronavirus cases surge across the U.S. Convalescent plasma is a potentially lifesaving treatment collected from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and may help patients actively fighting the virus.

“If you have fully recovered from COVID-19, you may be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating your plasma,” said Dr. Jessica Beier, a board-certified pathologist who serves as Medical Director for the Tift Regional Medical Center and Southwell Laboratories. She also serves as the Medical Director of Quality and Patient Safety for Southwell.

“Because former COVID-19 patients fought the infection, their plasma now contains COVID-19 antibodies,” she said. “These antibodies provided a way for their immune systems to fight the virus when they were sick, so this plasma may be able to be used to help others fight off the disease. We refer to this as convalescent plasma.”

The qualifications for potential donors are:

• Be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 lbs.

• Be in good health and feeling well.

• Have a verified prior diagnosis of COVID-19.

• Be fully recovered and symptom-free for at least 14 days, as determined by their medical provider.

Anyone who meets all the criteria and is willing to help is asked to fill out the Donor Eligibility Form at www.RedCrossBlood.org/Plasma4COVID

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