Sunday, June 16, 2024

Latest blood drive collects more convalescent plasma from recovered islanders

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Another emergency blood drive to primarily obtain convalescent plasma was held on Friday, January 8th from recovered COVID-19 patients. Held at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, the drive also welcomed donors who have not been infected with the virus. At the end of the event, the blood drive collected a total of 16 pints- seven from recovered patients and nine from non-COVID donors.

This was the second drive held to collect blood from recovered COVID-19 patients. The first one took place in December 2020, collecting almost 20 pints. It is believe that the convalescent plasma in this blood contains antibodies that can help those infected with the deadly disease. Doctors at the island polyclinic are optimistic with this strategy to give those severely affected by the illness a better chance to fight this pandemic that is killing Belizeans every single day.

During the blood drive, organizers observed safety regulations to avoid any potential spread of the virus making sure everyone wore a mask and maintained social distancing. Donors were asked to make an appointment before heading to the polyclinic in order to avoid mass gathering. A large number of potential donors answered the call, but at the end, only 16 were able to donate.

The other pints of blood from non-COVID recovered patients will be available for anyone needing blood during an emergency. During a blood emergency, Ashty Dennison at the Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch can be reached via text message or call at 615-4300. Persons calling or texting need to provide the name of the person need blood, blood type, amount, and name of medical centre where he or she is located.

In the meantime, another blood drive to collect more convalescent plasma is being planned, while the normal (3-month) scheduled blood drive will take place on February 27, 2021.

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