OneBlood Officials Describe Development of CCP Program in New Research Article

March 02, 2021

Officials from OneBlood described how their blood center implemented a COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) collection program within 6 weeks in an article published recently in the Journal of Clinical Apheresis

In the publication, the authors described how the center launched a CCP implementation project to meet the need for CCP and build a robust inventory of frozen and liquid CCP. The report details the two-phase approach to the implementation of CCP production, which first relied on a manual process to quickly begin collections and distributions of CCP and transitioned to an automated process to boost the volume of operations and inventory.

Between April 2 and May 17, 2020, the center produced 1,330 CCP products collected from 619 unique CCP donors (299 females, 320 males; 432 [69.8%] first‐time and 187 [30.2%] repeat donors). During the manual phase, the center produced an average of 18 CCP products per day and collected from an average of 11 donors. This increased to an average of 25 CCP products per day from 25 donors during the automated phase. The center was able to fill a backlog of patient orders and build an inventory less than 4 weeks after initiating the project, but the authors noted that there was a progressive loss of donors and products throughout the process.

Based on their center’s experience, the authors identified several deficits and gaps in sustaining the blood supply. They concluded that there is an urgent need for reliable, real‐time data on national blood products inventory and usage down to the regional level. They also noted that the current single-supplier inventory model is not suitable for disasters. 

The authors also outlined potential corrections to these challenges. For example, they propose that the federal government develop mechanisms to streamline donor recruitment, testing and new product development in the event of a similar pandemic. They also emphasized the importance of funding to develop pathogen-reduction technology and the development of standing federal protocols to allow rapid deployment of convalescent plasma.