Add the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to the list of local organizations that recently put up convalescent plasma centers to help with COVID-19 recovery.
The humanitarian agency's National Blood Center in Port Area, Manila started operations on Monday, following advice from doctors of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on the effectiveness of convalescent plasma therapy.
PRC chairman and CEO Senator Richard Gordon said in a statement, "Pinilit naming magkaroon ng convalescent plasma center para mabigyan ng pag-asa ang mga kababayan natin na may COVID. Yung mga nagkaroon na ng COVID at gumaling ay maaaring magbigay ng dugo para maisalin sa ibang nakikipaglaban pa sa COVID."
According to PGH, nine out of 10 patients have made a successful recovery afer undergoing the said therapy, which essentially transfuses plasma containing neutralizing antibodies from survivors of the infection to current patients.
Gordon calls the treatment a "weapon" in the fight against the coronavirus:
"Napakahalaga nito. Mabibigyan ng dugo ang mga nangangailangan at mabibigyan ng pag-asa. Isa ito sa mga armas natin laban sa COVID. Pag nabigyan ka niyan, may panlaban ka. Magbigay na kayo ng dugo."
Qualified donors, aged 18 to 65, must go through physical and medical examinations, and fill out the blood donation questionnaire. Blood samples will be subjected to additional testing to make sure that the COVID-19 antibody levels are therapeutic for recipients.
Interested parties can contact PRC through its hotline at 09175820499 or dial 143.