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Community non-profit blood center, Blood Assurance, is partnering with Rhea County Medical center to encourage the donation of convalescent plasma. These plasma donations from recovered COVID-19 donors are being used as an investigational treatment for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. As the demand for this treatment increases at Rhea Medical Center and across the Blood Assurance service area, Blood Assurance is in desperate need for more plasma donors.

Blood Assurance is collecting, processing and sending the donated plasma to hospitals where it is given to patients. Blood Assurance is the sole supplier of blood products to Rhea Medical Center. To donate convalescent plasma for patients in need, donors must have been officially diagnosed with COVID-19, must pass all standard requirements to give plasma and must be symptom free for 14 days.

To see if you meet requirements to be a convalescent plasma donor or if you are a clinician interested in convalescent plasma, Blood Assurance urges you to visit Blood Assurance offers information in Spanish as well. If you would like to speak to a Spanish representative regarding convalescent plasma, please call 423-752-8459.

If you believe you had COVID-19 but did not get tested, you may donate whole blood at Blood Assurance and receive an antibody test. Blood Assurance is currently testing all donations for COVID-19 antibodies. If you test positive for the antibodies, you could be a candidate for donating convalescent plasma.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.

About Blood Assurance
Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Kentucky. Founded in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Area Hospital Council and the Chattanooga Jaycees, the mission of Blood Assurance is to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need.