20200708-bc-houchinplasma (copy)

Jose Lopez Ramos donates plasma on July 7 toward Houchin Community Blood Bank's COVID-19 convalescent plasma program. With his donation, Ramos can help five people who are battling COVID-19 in Kern County hospitals.

In an effort to save lives and help critically ill COVID-19 patients in local hospitals, Houchin Community Blood Bank is seeking people who have had the virus to donate plasma.

More than 4,000 Kern County residents are now recovered from COVID-19 but only 100 people have donated convalescent plasma so far, according to a Houchin Community Blood Bank news release.

As an incentive, those who donate plasma between Monday and Saturday will receive a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant and be entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card, with two drawings held a day.

Convalescent plasma is the liquid portion of blood collected from recovered COVID-19 patients. Antibodies that help fight against the virus are found in their plasma. This form of treatment is being used to help critically ill patients who are currently suffering from COVID-19.

Donors must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet regular blood donation requirements
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 or for the antibody
  • Must be completely symptom-free for 14 consecutive days

To donate, call the hotline number at 616-2575. Appointments are required.