Houston Methodist renews requires convalescent plasma

HOUSTON – Houston Methodist renews its call to recovered COVID-19 patients to donate convalescent plasma.

The local hospital was the first academic medical center in the country to treat patients with convalescent plasma. Plasma is a yellow liquid obtained from recovered patients that, according to the Methodist, contains antibodies to viruses.

Although some institutions now disagree with its effectiveness, Methodist claims their studies suggest that patients in the early stages of the disease are more likely to survive than similar patients who do not receive treatment.

Lately it has become more and more difficult to find donors. The hospital said they are getting about three units a day, but they really need five times that amount.

Daniel Knight recovered from COVID in March 2020 and has donated plasma to the Houston Methodist Hospital 17 times.

“I found it to be a very simple process. The staff were extremely professional and it didn’t take as long as I thought, “said Knight.

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You have to donate:

• Proof of a positive molecular test (no antibody test)

• COVID symptoms must have subsided 14 days but within the last 6 months

• Receiving the vaccine does not exclude people from donating

• You must have tested positive for COVID-19 before receiving a vaccine

• Must be at least 18 years old

Knight said he knew people who received plasma and that he would like more survivors to help.

“I know if my situation was the other way around and I was the one in the hospital, I would hope to God that people would donate plasma that could get me out of the hospital and back to my family,” Knight said.

Eight Methodist sites across Houston accept donations. The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center no longer accepts convalescent plasma donations.

For information on how to become a donor, call Methodist directly at 346-238-4360.

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