EDITOR’S NOTE: (Nick Stamatakis)  Many among us have had covid-19 and recovered.  But as they have recovered they now hold in their blood a very precious commodity: Convalescent Plasma, which can greatly help the recovery of new covid patients.  The American Red Cross in New York and all over the country are desperately looking for donors – please click here to visit their website.  It would be a wonderful idea if the Hellenic Medical Society – in NY and/or elsewhere – and the Archdiocese or the parishes can organize events to assist in this effort…

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By Jack Summers NEWS10.com

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The American Red Cross and the National Football League (NFL) are teaming up this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to encourage people – especially those who have recovered from COVID-19 – to give blood and to help tackle the national plasma shortage.

Those who come to donate blood or platelets this January will reportedly be automatically entered to win two tickets to next year’s Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.* Additionally, those who come to donate between January 1-20, will also be automatically entered to win the Big Game at Home package for a safe viewing experience at home, with a 65-inch television and a $500 gift card to put toward food and fun.**

Appointments can be scheduled to give blood now with the American Red Cross by visiting their website, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or activating the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa.

“Blood and plasma donors who have recovered from COVID-19 may have the power to help critically ill patients currently battling the virus,” said Dr. Erin Goodhue, Red Cross medical director of clinical services. “With hospital distributions for convalescent plasma increasing about 250% since October, these generous donations are vital in helping to save lives throughout the winter – a time that is often challenging to collect enough blood products for those in need.”

As the number of COVID-19 cases has risen across the U.S., so has the need for convalescent plasma – which has led to a shortage of the potentially lifesaving blood product. People who have recovered from COVID-19 may reportedly have antibodies in their plasma that could provide a patient’s immune system the boost it needs to beat the virus.

There are two ways recovered COVID-19 patients can help – through a convalescent plasma donation or by giving whole blood. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients. Blood is reportedly needed every two seconds in the U.S. to help patients battling injury and illness.

In order to protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, those who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center is said to follow the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

 

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