With the reduction of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 and the demand for COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) dropping, the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) has decided to phase out its COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma donation program effective March 26.
The Blood Center has been collecting the plasma from COVID-19 patients since April 2020, with 2508 donors giving more that 6500 units of CCP. The current inventory is sufficient to meet projected patient needs.
“The community response to our CCP program has been nothing short of amazing,” said Pete Lux, Director, Donor and Patient Services. “I’m so proud of everyone on our team who has helped recruit, qualify, schedule, test, process, and deliver donations over the last year. Most of all, we have the individual donors to thank for stepping forward to help COVID-19 patients.”
Donors who currently have an appointment to donate CCP on or before March 26 are asked to keep their appointment. The Blood Center will no longer process referrals for CCP donations, though.
If the need arises for an increase in supply of CCP, protocols will remain in place to resume collection.
“If we should see an increase in demand for CCP due to rising infection and hospitalization rates, we are prepared to resume full scale recruitment and collection of CCP donations,” said Jeannine McCullough, Vice President, Blood Services.
Despite the phasing out of CCP collection, the Blood Center is still in need of other donations to recover from the blood drive and appointment cancellations during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an ongoing demand for red blood cell, platelet, and plasma donations for all blood types.
“Blood products are used with patients in treatment for cancer, to respond to trauma, and for lifesaving surgical procedures,” said Amanda Hess, Director, Donor and Public Relations. “All of these reasons, and more, still occur during the pandemic.”