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Oklahoma Blood Institute Looking for Convalescent Plasma Donors amid High Hospital Demand

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Hospital demand for convalescent plasma to help people battling COVID-19 is up 700% in recent weeks, according to the Oklahoma Blood Institute.

OBI Executive Director Jan Laub said that’s in addition to their normal demand for blood products, all of which are coming up a bit short.

"We need 1,200 donations a day just on blood supply, and think about all the people in our hospital with COVID-related illness that we could, you know, if we had the CCP donors in here, we could be helping. So, it’s at a critical level," Laub said.

Laub said OBI is getting about 20 convalescent plasma donors a day across their system. The need is 60 to 80. People who have recovered from COVID-19 or received a positive antibody test are encouraged to schedule an appointment and register for a national COVID plasma registry.

OBI is also offering COVID-19 antibody tests to all donors.

Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith went to donate her first round Monday morning. She and her husband recently recovered from COVID-19, which she thinks they got during a road trip despite following precautions like wearing masks.

"If there’s anybody out there who needs this, then I’m delighted to be able to do this one small act and continue to do it as long as it works," Keith said.

Statewide, COVID hospitalizations been above 500 a day for nearly a month, reaching a peak of 663 on July 28.

Image licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 from Wikimedia Commons.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.
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