PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– COVID-19 cases in the area have now surpassed 2,000 cases and two new deaths were reported Wednesday. Medical professionals have now suggested that the need for a treatment is imminent, and it may be coming from plasma for those who have recovered from the disease.
Gulf Coast Regional Chief Medical Officer George Helmrich expressed that the hospital is constantly studying the impact of convalescent plasma on patients, so far it has been effective on certain COVID-19 patients, just not the critically ill ones.
“The idea is that someone who has already gotten over COVID-19 has antibodies to fight the disease,” he said.
Ultimately, he encourages those who have recovered to donate, so they could give patients as many treatment options as possible.
“It is a plea. This is a part of social responsibility. If you have tested positive please help other Bay County residents and donate plasma,” he said.
News 13 News Director, Tom Lewis, even rolled up his sleeves and got in on the action, after recovering from COVID-19 just three weeks ago.
Lewis said he was lucky, his case was mild and resembled the common flu. He was not hospitalized for his symptoms. He said the process was painless.
“It’s just a needle stick, that’s the only pain you have, and some don’t even have pain doing that,” Lewis said.
Lewis said that the sacrifice for him was small, for an even bigger impact on the community. He’s calling upon others to step up to the challenge.
“Please donate plasma. If you do you’re gonna help somebody else hopefully. This plasma is going to hopefully find vaccines and other treatments for COVID-19,” he said.
Lewis’s plasma can help up to three patients. All of the Oneblood collections will be used to treat those suffering in Bay County hospitals.
In order to donate, you must test negative for COVID-19 and not display symptoms for two weeks. You can sign up for an appointment at Oneblood here.