If you had COVID-19 donating plasma can help even more!

by Annette Pinder

Stay-at-home orders weren’t even in place when Jason Russell became ill with COVID-19 in March. He isn’t quite sure how he got it, but his daughter had just started her nursing career at a New York hospital and came down with it the same day. His wife, who had been working with students at a local college, followed.

Jason, his wife, their daughter, and two sons all got the virus, but each experienced it differently. Jason was the sickest. “I had extreme aches, pains, cramping, and unrelenting fevers for 14 days. My tests for influenza and strep came back negative, and without any available COVID-19 tests in Western New York, we just assumed we all had it,” he said.

Jason’s physician suggested alternating between Ibuprofen and Tylenol for the pain and fever. “I couldn’t eat, lost my sense of taste, and lived on sugar-free Gatorade and water. Unable to sleep due to pain, fear, and anxiety, I began taking Aleve PM, which helped a bit.”

The positive outcome of the entire ordeal was Jason’s ability to donate plasma after recovering because of his COVID-19 antibodies. Not only are he and his family thankful to have survived their ordeal, but also they are glad that they can donate their plasma to help others. An assistant manager at Prometic Plasma Resources, Jason explains that people with COVID-19 antibodies may help people with severe symptoms boost their ability to fight the virus by donating their plasma.

Donating plasma does much more than just help people who have COVID-19. It also helps save and improve the lives of thousands of people around the world who need plasma-derived biotherapies. Many in need of plasma suffer from life-threatening conditions such as hemophilia, immune deficiencies, and other blood disorders. Plasma is an essential ingredient in many medications and treatments, and only plasma donors can provide this vital material because it cannot be synthetically created or produced in a laboratory.

Best of all, in addition to helping others, donating plasma also benefits the person who donates. Jason explains, “Donors can spend several hours a week at our donor centers giving up to two donations weekly. We value the generosity and commitment of all our donors and feel they should be rewarded for their time and effort. For this reason, donors receive compensation for each donation.”

To donate plasma you must be at least 18 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in good health. To learn more about the process visit www.plasma.prometic.com. Donors need to present a valid photo ID, proof of address, and a social insurance card (Canada) or social security card (US). A technician will check your vitals and prick your finger to determine if you are eligible.

Prometic Plasma Resources is conveniently located at 20 Northpointe Parkway, Suite 160, Amherst, NY 14228. You can contact the center at 716-579-0449 or email them at PPRAmherst@prometic.com.