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Valley first responders donate plasma after recovering from COVID-19

(Twitter Photo/@Ali_Vetnar)

PHOENIX – More than a dozen Glendale firefighters and police officers who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19 have donated their convalescent plasma in hopes of helping others.

On Sunday, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma in the treatment of the coronavirus. Scientists believe the plasma can be given to patients to boost their ability to fight coronavirus. It also might keep moderately ill patients from getting sicker.

“Every day we set out to do something good for people, to affect them in a positive way – this is a way we can guarantee that,” Glendale Fire Captain Ashley Losch told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

With an urgent need for both blood and plasma donations, Losch organized the drive hosted by Arizona’s largest blood supplier, Vitalant. On both Tuesday and Wednesday, first responders and other city employees were able to donate at their Glendale Regional Public Safety Training Center.

“A lot of our members, both police and fire had contracted COVID-19 while working with the public,” Losch added. “As they were recovering, we were trying to look for ways for something positive to come out of all of this.”

That being another way to give back to their community and serve those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Vitalant reports the need for convalescent plasma has outpaced donations by more than 400% in Arizona. Due to the low supply, roughly 41% of plasma used in Arizona has been brought here from out of state sources.

The convalescent plasma treatment is the only FDA-approved antibody treatment available to COVID-19 patients who are critically ill in the hospitals.

One plasma donation can help treat up to three coronavirus patients.

“That’s a lot of people we’re able to affect, once again after already serving the public with our jobs,” Losch said.

Those who have recovered from coronavirus and or have tested positive for antibodies are highly encouraged to donate plasma. Vitalant asks people to bring proof of contracting COVID-19 and or testing positive for the antibodies. Volunteers also need to be symptom free for 28 days and can register online or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825).

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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