Notre Dame students donate plasma to help COVID-19 patients

Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 11:14 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - 16 News Now is learning more about a plasma donation drive organized by Notre Dame students and the South Bend Medical Foundation.

17 Notre Dame students participated in a convalescent plasma donation drive last week that produced enough plasma to help 56 COVID-19 patients.

“It was amazing," Blood Donor Recruitment Supervisor at the South Bend Medical Foundation Mary Ankrapp said.

Notre Dame Sophomore Robert Duncheskie came up with the idea for the drive and partnering with the South Bend Medical Foundation.

In a statement from Duncheskie, he said, “I wanted to organize this drive as a way of turning this negative situation of the pandemic into a positive. I wanted to help other people in the community in the fight against the virus because I am looking forward to the future with great hope.”

Convalescent plasma comes from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 and whose blood has antibodies for the virus.

“The hospitals are using it. They found it to be a very promising therapeutic to help out patients. So it is, especially right now with the uptick in the area, it’s so important that we try to get as many donors in to donate the convalescent plasma," Ankrapp said.

She says the process of donating is very simple.

“I’ve talked to a lot of the donors who have come in, and a lot of them are brand new donors. They’ve never donated before donating the convalescent plasma, and they said this was simple. It was easy, and they’re so glad they did it.”

Ankrapp says the convalescent plasma is flying off the shelves, and they are always in need of donations.

“If there are people out there who have recovered from COVID, you could really make an impact and literally save someone’s life that is struggling with the disease. If you are out there, we’d love to have you contact us.”

For more information about the South Bend Medical Foundation, click here.

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