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Can I donate blood or convalescent plasma in New Jersey?
Blood drives can continue to operate in New Jersey. The CDC encourages people who are well to continue to donate blood if they are able, even if they are practicing social distancing because of COVID-19.
The State has issued an administrative order permitting the continued operation of blood drives to meet the critical needs of residents. Blood drives must continue to take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the following:
- incorporating social distancing where practicable
- collecting blood only from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation
- conducting temperature screens of both staff and donors before entering a blood drive
- requiring the use of PPE
- providing hand sanitizer to donors for use before the drive and during the donation process
- frequently sanitizing equipment and work spaces.
If you would like to donate blood, contact one of the following organizations:
If you don't feel well on the day of your scheduled appointment, please cancel your donation.
Blood plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19 may help treat patients who are severely ill with the virus. The blood plasma from recovered patients contains antibodies that may help critically ill patients fight the virus. Historically, convalescent plasma has been used as a potentially life-saving treatment in situations when new diseases or infections develop quickly, and no treatments or vaccines were available yet.
Eligible individuals must be fully recovered from COVID-19 and symptom free, and must otherwise meet regular blood donation eligibility criteria. Individuals are encouraged to register to donate at RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid. Once registered, someone will follow up to qualify the potential donor, and once qualified, the donor will receive an appointment time and location to donate. Please note that plasma collection is by appointment only.
American Red Cross convalescent plasma collection sites will begin collection at the American Red Cross blood center in Fairfield and University Hospital in Newark on Monday, May 11.
In late March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new initiative to collect plasma from those who have recovered from novel coronavirus to treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections. University Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the state to receive the FDA approval for convalescent plasma treatment in New Jersey and remains one of only a few hospitals in the state offering this treatment. Approximately 100 COVID-19 patients at University Hospital have been treated with convalescent plasma. The effectiveness of this treatment is not yet known – but many patients that have received this therapy at University Hospital have recovered, which is a promising sign. University Hospital practitioners and researchers, along with others across the country, continue to monitor and investigate the progress of COVID-19 patients who receive this treatment.
Other New Jersey hospitals can register to participate in the FDA's program to access convalescent plasma and with the Red Cross to access plasma here: https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/plasma-donations-from-recovered-covid-19-patients/clinician-registration.html