A 39-year-old mother from New York City has become one of the first coronavirus survivors to donate blood plasma.
Tiffany Pinckney hopes that the antibodies her blood plasma contains will help other coronavirus patients.
“It is definitely overwhelming to know that in my blood, there may be answers,” Pinckney said in an interview with The Association Press.
While there is no proof that the century-old treatment will work, blood centers and hospitals are now getting ready for potentially hundreds of coronavirus survivors to donate.
Dr. David Reich, president of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said: “There´s a tremendous call to action. People feel very helpless in the face of this disease. And this is one thing that people can do to help their fellow human beings,” adding, “we just hope it works.”
‘Convalescent serum’ was used during the Spanish flu pandemic. It was also used against bacterial pneumonia, measles, and other infections before modern medicine was developed.
When a person gets infected, the body produces proteins called antibodies to target the unwanted organism. Those antibodies, called plasma, float in the blood of survivors for months or years.
Dr. Jeffrey Henderson of Washington University School of Medicine said: “When new diseases erupt and scientists are scrambling for vaccines or drugs, it’s ‘a stopgap measure that we can put into place quickly.”
He also said that this “is not a cure per se, but rather it is a way to reduce the severity of illness.”
While medics do not know how long survivors’ antibodies will persist, ‘they’re now the safest ones on the streets’ for now, said Dr. Rebecca Haley of Bloodworks Northwest. “We would not be making a dent in their antibody supply for themselves.”
Donors can’t just go to a blood center. To meet the requirements, they must be symptom-free for several weeks and get tested to make sure they don’t have the virus. They must also get additional test to check if the level of antibodies is high enough, and they also must be healthy.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section and SHARE this story with your friends and family!