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Soldiers in 'dire' need of plasma donations from recovered COVID patients

A blood drive is underway on Fort Carson
Soldiers in 'dire' need of plasma donations from recovered COVID patients
Posted at 6:20 AM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 08:42:20-04

FORT CARSON — If you have had COVID-19 and recovered, you can help a soldier anywhere in the world by stopping by Fort Carson and donating convalescent plasma as part of the Armed Services Blood Program's annual blood drive.

That basically takes the antibodies you've built up in your blood and transfuses them to a sick soldier to boost their own antibodies so they can better fight the virus.

"The military has a dire need for this," said Deylon Douglass, Public Affairs Specialist and Recruiter for the Armed Services Blood Program.

The Department of Defense set a goal to collect 8,000 to 10,000 of these plasma units. Of course, there is also a need for regular blood donations, too.

That's because the Armed Services Blood Program is the sole provider of blood transfusions for the entire Department of Defense.
They provide stockpiles of blood to military installations and military hospitals around the world, so your donation goes a long way.

"Take an hour out of your day and save someone's life," Douglass added. "That's what it comes down to. We are in the business of saving lives. So you can have the opportunity to say, 'Hey, I saved someone's life today.' So if you have the opportunity and you have base access, please come out and support the armed services blood program."

Regular blood donations are also important in helping soldiers undergoing major surgery. If you plan on stopping by, just keep in mind there will be social distancing in place so there might be a bit longer of a wait time.

Here are the event details:

WHAT: Armed Services Blood Program Annual Blood Drive on Fort Carson
WHERE: Elkhorn Conference Center
WHEN: Tuesday, September 22 - Thursday, September 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
REQUIREMENTS: You must have access to Fort Carson to donate, so eligible donors are active duty service members, their family members, military retirees and civil service employees.

In general, a person must weigh at least 116 pounds, be at least 17 years old, have a valid form of identification, and have not been ill for at least three days beforehand. It's also a good idea to hydrate and eat something before you donate!