SAVE A LIFE: Families, hospitals issue urgent appeal for convalescent plasma

Alabama News

OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – As many hospitals across our nation see an increase in critically ill patients, there is a severe shortage of a promising treatment. Locally some families with sick loved ones are appealing for convalescent plasma. The substance is rich with antibodies from those who have already recovered.

“Right now, we are in desperate need of recovered patients to donate plasma. The spike in COVID-19 cases across the state of Alabama, we see convalescent plasma used daily,” shared Sharon Carpenter, LifeSouth’s South Alabama’s District Director.

LifeSouth donors can choose a hospital, but not a specific patient to receive their gift.
EAMC’s Dr. Rocardo Maldonado and Stefanie Ledbetter tell News 3 the hospitals has a critical shortage of plasma. They are urging recovered patients to donate as soon as they can.
Joint statement from

“At present, we have a critical shortage in our area of convalescent plasma—that is plasma from someone who has recovered from COVID-19. People who donate at LifeSouth in Opelika can designate their plasma for EAMC, although not to a specific patient. Without such designation, we have to order the convalescent plasma from LifeSouth in Florida. Initially, it took roughly 24 hours to get a single unit of convalescent plasma for a patient, and now it can take anywhere from 24 hours to several days, depending on the patient’s blood type. With the supply being so limited, it causes delays in patients receiving this treatment. We currently have 58 patients with COVID-19, and many of them are fighting for their lives. Please donate plasma and help our doctors treat our sickest patients. Your donation can truly help save the life of a local resident.”

Ricardo Maldonado, M.D. EAMC infectious diseases specialist/Stefanie Ledbetter BSN, MSHI EAMC Director of Quality

If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, call LifeSouth and make an appointment to donate. If you’re not sure, you can donate whole blood and find out.

“Once you find out you’ve tested positive for the antibodies, you can wait seven days and come back and donate plasma,” shared Carpenter.

It takes about ten minutes to donate whole blood and thirty minutes to donate plasma, a simple task with a lifetime of possibilities for anguished families in need.

“We have had tons of calls from family members of patients who are very ill in the hospital with COVID-19 and seeking desperately for plasma, so your donations will not be wasted,” shared Carpenter.

The family of Lee County Commissioner Johnny Lawrence is urging donations . The former Auburn firefighter received plasma and remains in EAMC’s ICU on a ventilator.

Johnny Lawrence

“Johnny believes in public service–first for more than 30 years as a firefighter and now as a Lee County Commissioner. We want to encourage Lee County residents to consider donating plasma and blood in the spirit of Johnny’s commitment to public service. This is something tangible that people can do to help Johnny and others battling this awful and very real disease as well as ensure that local blood supplies are strong for others needing blood and plasma. Johnny always says that Christ’s admonition that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves is one of the most important things we all should do. So please love your neighbors and donate. Finally, the Lawrence family is deeply appreciative of the prayers, love, and support from across Lee County. We thank you for them and ask you to continue to keep Johnny in your prayers.”

-Margaret Lawrence
Wife of Commissioner Johnny Lawrence

For more information on how to donate plasma vial LifeSouth, please visit this link: https://www.lifesouth.org/covid-19/

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