For Immediate Release
April 13, 2020
Bethesda, Md. – AABB (formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks) launched a new partnership with Survivor Corps, a grassroots organization connecting and mobilizing COVID-19 survivors with the scientific, medical and academic research community, to help increase treatment options for patients with COVID-19. The goal of the partnership is to increase donations of potentially life-saving COVID-19 convalescent plasma, which is rich in antibodies formed in response to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and can be transfused into patients currently battling the infection.
This partnership will connect COVID-19 survivors with AABB-accredited blood collection facilities to expedite donations of COVID-19 convalescent plasma and potentially help improve the status of critically ill patients with COVID-19. AABB’s Blood Bank Locator - the only public resource that contains the list of every blood center in the United States currently collecting convalescent plasma - is a featured component of www.COVIDplasma.org, a new AABB website that provides information on convalescent plasma for potential donors and healthcare facilities.
“The antibodies in this convalescent plasma can only be collected from those who have recovered from COVID-19. That’s why it’s so important for everyone who has recovered to contact their local blood center to see if they are eligible to donate this potentially life-saving resource,” said Debra S. BenAvram, CEO of AABB. “AABB’s new partnership with Survivor Corps will help ensure COVID-19 survivors are aware of their unique opportunity to save lives - and know where they can go to make a donation.”
Survivor Corps was founded by Diana Berrent, one of the first people to recover from COVID-19 in her area and to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma. Survivor Corps now includes thousands of recovered patients across the country who are supporting efforts in the scientific, research and medical communities to address this pandemic in the United States.
“Survivor Corps is the Peace Corps of the COVID generation. Our goal is to save as many lives as we can, and this partnership with AABB is a major step forward in achieving that goal,” said Berrent. “We will work nonstop to ensure that every COVID survivor understands their unique power and ability to save lives and, with AABB’s help, we will make it as easy as possible for them to donate.”
Convalescent plasma has long been used as treatment for infectious diseases, dating back to the 1890s. Many AABB-accredited blood donation centers are collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma. The FDA recently issued guidance on the use of this plasma as an investigational treatment for patients with moderate or severe COVID-19 infections. Once this plasma is collected, tested and processed, it can be sent to hospitals and administered as treatment to patients. AABB has also released a protocol to assist facilities in the collection of convalescent plasma.
AABB is an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in the fields of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. The association is committed to improving health through the development and delivery of standards, accreditation and educational programs that focus on optimizing patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership includes physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers, administrators, medical technologists and other health care providers. AABB members are located in more than 80 countries and AABB accredits institutions in more than 50 countries.
Survivor Corps is the largest grassroots movement in America dedicated to actively ending this pandemic. We are mobilizing all those affected by COVID-19 to support all ongoing scientific, medical and academic research to find a vaccine and a cure. We hope to get people back into their communities and back to work, all while fostering the spirit of unity and solidarity that is urgently needed during this time of crisis.
With every passing day, thousands of people across the country are being infected with COVID-19. The vast majority will survive and most will likely develop antibodies to the virus. The mysteries to this virus will be solved, in part, by individual donations to scientific research.
Survivor Corps is the epicenter of HOPE.