SAN ANTONIO — As infection numbers continue to rise in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, more and more hospitals are requesting units of convalescent plasma to help COVID-19-patients battle their symptoms.
But the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, the primary blood and plasma donation bank in the metro, says it ended Tuesday with "zero units on the shelf." Convalescent plasma comes from donors who have beaten COVID-19, whose plasma contains antibodies that researchers have found help to shorten the hospital stays of current patients by an average of four days.
While STBTC says more plasma should become available Wednesday, the development is the latest indicator of how bad the coronavirus crisis has gotten in the San Antonio area. Officials say that, to date, nearly 3,000 units of convalescent plasma have been distributed to local hospitals, with more than 1,300 of those units coming in July alone.
However, just 200 of the 6,182 eligible county residents have given plasma, so STBTC is renewing the call for COVID-19 survivors to consider donating. You can reach out at COVID19@SouthTexasBlood.org to see if you qualify.