COVID-19 patients can give back

A patient that recovered from COVID-19 donates COVID-19 convalescent plasma at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 20, 2020. The procedure separates plasma from red blood cells and returns the blood cells back to the patient producing three units of COVID-19 convalescent plasma per donor. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

A patient that recovered from COVID-19 donates COVID-19 convalescent plasma at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Aug. 20, 2020. The procedure separates plasma from red blood cells and returns the blood cells back to the patient producing three units of COVID-19 convalescent plasma per donor. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

A Trima machine, an automated blood collection system, separates COVID-19 convalescent plasma from the blood and returns it back to the patient Aug. 20, 2020, at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. All donations support military hospitals and Navy hospital ships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

A Trima machine, an automated blood collection system, separates COVID-19 convalescent plasma from the blood and returns it back to the patient Aug. 20, 2020, at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. All donations support military hospitals and Navy hospital ships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

Megan Keller, a recovered COVID-19 patient, donates COVID-19 convalescent plasma Aug. 20, 2020, at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Patients that have recovered from COVID-19 have a higher chance of carrying a concentrated amount of antibodies in their plasma to help other patients that do not. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

Megan Keller, a recovered COVID-19 patient, donates COVID-19 convalescent plasma Aug. 20, 2020, at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Patients that have recovered from COVID-19 have a higher chance of carrying a concentrated amount of antibodies in their plasma to help other patients that do not. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

A Trima machine, an automated blood collection system, separates COVID-19 convalescent plasma from the blood and returns it back to the patient Aug. 20, 2020, at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. All donations support military hospitals and Navy hospital ships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

A Trima machine, an automated blood collection system, separates COVID-19 convalescent plasma from the blood and returns it back to the patient Aug. 20, 2020, at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. All donations support military hospitals and Navy hospital ships. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

Bags collect COVID-19 convalescent plasma from a donor Aug. 20, 2020, at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The donor center has a goal of 34 units a week to prepare a stockpile before flu season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

Bags collect COVID-19 convalescent plasma from a donor Aug. 20, 2020, at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The donor center has a goal of 34 units a week to prepare a stockpile before flu season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) donations are labeled and stored in a cooler to preserve them for future patients Aug 20, 2020, at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The Defense Department has set a goal of 10,000 units of CCP by Sept. 30, 2020, but will continue to collect donations throughout flu season with an effort to combat a rise in cases. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) donations are labeled and stored in a cooler to preserve them for future patients Aug 20, 2020, at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The Defense Department has set a goal of 10,000 units of CCP by Sept. 30, 2020, but will continue to collect donations throughout flu season with an effort to combat a rise in cases. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

The Armed Services Blood Bank Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, provides chairs to lie back with a seat warmer and personal movie player with headphones while donating COVID-19 convalescent plasma, Aug. 20, 2020. The process takes between 45 minutes to an hour to complete a screening and donation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

The Armed Services Blood Bank Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, provides chairs to lie back with a seat warmer and personal movie player with headphones while donating COVID-19 convalescent plasma, Aug. 20, 2020. The process takes between 45 minutes to an hour to complete a screening and donation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Melody B. Bordeaux)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Tex. --

With flu season fast approaching and no approved vaccine developed for COVID-19, supplies of life-saving measures such as blood and plasma are being put under strain.

To help hold back the tide, the Defense Department has established a goal of obtaining 10,000 units of donated COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) by Sept. 30, 2020, to combat the potential rise in cases.

A patient that has recovered from COVID-19 can donate within two to three weeks after recovery. Within this time frame, recovered patients have a concentrated group of antibodies that can help critically ill patients not producing enough antibodies on their own. Donating CCP allows doctors to treat other infections caused by the virus, such as pneumonia, while the antibodies strengthen the patient’s immune system and fight against COVID-19.

All service members and DoD civilians that meet these conditions can help donate to the Armed Services Blood Bank Center; each donation could save as many as three lives.

“Do for somebody what they can’t do for themselves,” said Staff Sgt. Kiersten Zardee, Armed Services Blood Bank Center NCO in charge of aphaeresis operations. “Giving antibodies saves lives.”

Even if a donor can’t give plasma, they can still donate blood and support the everyday mission to provide blood products directly to military beneficiaries worldwide.

“Blood donated on military installations directly supports military beneficiaries and warfighters,” said Maj. Sherry McWaters, director of the Armed Services Blood Bank Center. “We really are asking  [donors] to choose us right now, to come on to the base, because we are limited to only doing collections on federal property.”

While the prospect of donating plasma may seem daunting, especially in the uncertain world we now find ourselves in, the team at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center are happy to guide potential donors through the process.

“It’s a scary time, there are a lot of things that we don’t know, people have a lot of unanswered questions, but if you are nervous to donate just give us a call,” reassured Lt. Col. Jeff Wisneski, commander of the 59th Medical Diagnostics and Therapeutics Squadron. “We’ll answer any and all questions that you have so that you’re not scared and that you’re not nervous, because at the end of the day we will find an answer.”

Once a patient comes in for a screening they will receive a $25 incentive and staff will determine if the recovered patient has the right amount of antibodies to donate. This incentive is only available until Sept. 30, 2020.

Even if a patient does not qualify to donate CCP they will still receive the gift card and can still donate blood to support mission readiness, military beneficiaries, and military treatment facilities around the world.

The process to donate CCP takes about 45 minutes to an hour and they provide patients with snacks, a movie, seat warmer, pillow and blankets to relax.

When a patient donates, the automated blood collection machine separates the plasma from the blood cells and then returns the red blood cells rich in oxygen back to the patient, significantly reducing fatigue while still providing the most plasma, and antibodies, possible.

Many people have been affected by COVID-19 either personally or through the experience of their loved ones. Those who recover have the opportunity to help save someone else’s life.

“Our donor center values the success of this CCP mission,” said McWaters. “We truly appreciate everyone who has and who will schedule an appointment to help our nation overcome this pandemic.”

For more information, call the Armed Services Blood Bank Center at (210) 292-8142 or (210) 292-8145. To schedule an appointment at the Lackland Armed Services Blood Bank Center, visit militarydonor.com and select Donate Blood in the top menu. Search by sponsor: ASBBC-SA, and select the ASBBC-SA In-House Donors from the drop down that appears.

 
 
  
Medical Appointment Line:
210-916-9900
 
 
Secure Messaging

Nurse Advice Line

JBSA Sexual Assault Response and Prevention

JBSA SAPR Hotline: 210-808-7272
DoD Safe Helpline: 1-877-995-5247

Chaplain Services: 210-292-7373

 

Wingman Toolkit

NOTICE OF PRIVACY

Learn more about how we protect your privacy, how medical information about you may be used and disclosed, and how you can get access to this information. Notice of Privacy Practices