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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

COVID-19 Treatment Shows Promise; Seeks Donors

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Convalescent plasma treatment involves giving blood from someone who has recovered from COVID-19 to someone who is sick with it, in the hope that the antibodies the well person developed will help the sick person fight the disease.

It’s too early to have any large published studies on how effective convalescent plasma is in treating people with COVID-19. But it’s looking promising.

“Small studies that have been published show that if you’re giving convalescent plasma early in disease, in that setting, there’s definitely a benefit for mortality. That means that if you get it compared to those who don’t get it, there is a survival benefit,” said Douglas Brust, M.D., an infectious disease specialist and the principal investigator of a convalescent plasma study at Lee Health.

As the number of cases rises, so does demand for the plasma.

“The need for convalescent plasma is only increasing because, as you see more and more cases of coronavirus happening, not only in Florida but around the country, that is driving increased usage,” said Susan Forbes of Oneblood, a not-for-profit that supplies blood to hospitals throughout Florida and beyond.

“If you’ve recovered from the coronavirus, you really hold a potential key of helping coronavirus patients recover,” she said.

Patients who have recovered can help locally by donating through Lee Health.

“If you’ve had a positive test for SARS COVID 2, that’s the virus that causes COVID 19, and either you were asymptomatic, you never had symptoms and it’s been at least 14 days, or you had symptoms but you’ve been better for at least 14 days, you can come right to Lee Health and donate blood and we will process it to plasma and use it right here in the community for patients that are in the hospital,” said Dr. Brust.

To find out more about donating, email

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit .

Cary Barbor is the local host of All Things Considered and a reporter for WGCU. She was a producer for Martha Stewart Radio on Sirius XM, where she hosted a live interview show with authors of new books called Books and Authors. She was a producer for The Leonard Lopate Show, a live, daily show that covered arts, culture, politics, and food on New York City’s public radio station WNYC. She also worked as a producer on Studio 360, a weekly culture magazine; and The Sunday Long Read, a show that features in-depth conversations with journalists and other writers. She has filed stories for The Pulse and Here & Now. In addition to radio, she has a career writing for magazines, including Salon, Teen Vogue, New York, Health, and More. She has published short stories and personal essays and is always working on a novel. She was a Knight Journalism Fellow, where she studied health reporting at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and followed epidemiologists around Kenya and Alaska. She has a B.A. in English from Lafayette College and an M.A. in Literature from the University of Massachusetts.