EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — One El Pasoan is urging people to donate convalescent plasma as her parents battle COVID-19. Local doctors and blood banks said there’s a current shortage of the potentially life saving treatment.
Staff at Vitalant Blood Center said plasma donations are extremely low. The center is urging those who have recovered from the virus to help be a part of saving lives.
Fernie and Mary Esther Minjares are battling COVID-19 while in the hospital. Their daughter Sandra Spencer said her mother is in dire need of plasma.
“My parents are probably the most giving and nurturing people you will ever meet, which is one of the reasons why they’re in this situation because they were helping my grandfather and they were exposed while helping him in his assisted living facility,” Sandra Spencer, “As it stands right now there is no plasma for my mother at this time.”
“There were two things happening at the same time. The number of cases was spiking and the volume and availability of plasma was declining rapidly to almost none available in some cases,” Dr. Carlo Hatem with the Hospitals of Providence told KTSM.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t had a lot of those individuals come donate plasma. It would be very very helpful if we got more of those individuals coming in,” David Veloz, Senior Director/Donor Recruitment at Vitalant shared.
According to data from the City’s Department of Public Health, there are currently 6,448 recoveries from the virus in El Paso County. That means thousands of opportunities to donate plasma.
“It is frustrating because my mother can’t get it. It’s such an easy, maybe not an easy process but it is something that someone can do and we just don’t have a system set up in place yet,” Spencer said.
Spencer is trying to raise more awareness about the issue, “I beg people to go out, do that and get the information and find out where you can go donate because it is important. Even if my mother can’t get it maybe somebody else can and someone can benefit from that.”
Spencer hopes those who have recovered will considering donating to help save lives, “My mother is fighting for her life everyday in that hospital so anything that we can do to help in her recovery obviously is what we want.”
For more information on donating plasma, click here.