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Donating plasma for COVID-19 patients through American Red Cross

Scott Stachowiak donated convalescent plasma. Nearly six months after testing positive, COVID-19 antibodies were still there.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The American Red Cross is putting out a call for blood donations, but the reality is some people are still hesitant to donate during a pandemic. However, leaders with the organization say they have seen more people wiling to do so.

“I went to go pick up my I-pad to check my emails for work, and my hands ached. And my wife said you should go get tested,” said Scott Stachowiak.

Stachowiak tested positive for COVID-19 back in April.

After fully recovering, he wanted to donate plasma for other COVID-19 patients who may needed it, and was also curious how long the antibodies would stay in his system.

Scott decided to take advantage of the Red Cross's antibody testing service, which you get for free when you donate blood.

“The experience actually was pretty easy there, less than an hour. pretty simple it was the least I could've done, the true heroes are the medical professionals,” said Stachowiak.

Nearly six months after testing positive, COVID-19 antibodies were still there. Scott donated convalescent plasma, which he said was a nearly pain-free experience.

“Very quick, they're very professional. And I'm actually going to do it again, I can donate it once a week,” said Stachowiak.

Officials with the American Red Cross say the antibody testing service has not only helped bring people in to donate blood for them, but also help doctors when it comes to treating sick patients.

“Convalescent plasma is a treatment we've been collecting that doctors are using for COVID-19 patients that are ill right now. It seems to be promising and the demand for it continues to grow,” said Christy Peters with the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross plans to continue this service through January 2021.

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