Children's Hospital Colorado

Recovered COVID-19 Plasma Donors May Help Future Patients

Children's Hospital Colorado | April 08, 2020

Editor’s note: This page was updated on September 15, 2020. Due to new regulatory requirements from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Children’s Hospital Colorado has made the difficult decision to pause our convalescent plasma donor program while we work to comply with these rules. We welcome you for regular blood donation, which we need daily to support children through cancer treatment, surgery and chronic blood conditions such as sickle cell disease. Thank you for your support!

Children's Colorado’s Blood Donor Center was the first in the state and one of the first in the country to collect antibody-rich convalescent plasma to combat COVID-19. The program launched in late March when the Center received the request for a critically ill adult patient at a nearby hospital. Between March and September 2020, our Blood Donor Center facilitated 522 convalescent plasma donations from 220 donors. We provided this plasma to 22 different organizations.

Learn how our convalescent plasma program started.

How convalescent plasma works

Though the use of convalescent plasma in medicine is not new, the theory is promising for treating COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. People who recover from COVID-19 have antibodies to the disease in their blood but no longer have the virus.

"Those antibodies are like targeted missiles against COVID-19 in a person's plasma, which can then be given to a person actively fighting the virus," said Kyle Annen, DO, Medical Director of Transfusion Services and Patient Blood Management at Children's Colorado.

The plasma from a recovered person is collected via a simple process, similar to blood donation. The theory is that giving this plasma to a person fighting the disease will give their immune system a boost and help them recover.

Convalescent plasma FAQs for potential donors and families

Though our program is paused, convalescent plasma is still needed. Learn about the process and how you can help below.

Convalescent plasma FAQs for providers

If you have additional questions about updates to Children’s Colorado’s convalescent plasma program, please email ConvalescentPlasma@childrenscolorado.org. Or, see Children's Colorado's coronavirus resources for families, all in one place.

This page was updated September 15, 2020. Due to the nature of the coronavirus pandemic, recommendations can change quickly. Please follow all rules and guidelines set by state and local public health and safety authorities. Reference the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for immediate updates on COVID-19.