As the battle of COVID-19 continues, many are looking for ways on how they can help contribute to the solution. Infected or not, COVID-19 affects us all whether it is directly or indirectly, as we are all in this fight together. As more and more people are able to get treatment and survive the virus, it gives us hope that there will be a shining light at the end of this tunnel, with one man wanting to give back in a major way.
We would like to introduce you to Paul Basaldua, a native from San Antonio. In March of 2020, Basaldua was diagnosed with COVID-19. Basaldua, had mild symptoms of the virus for a week straight, feeling body aches and being tired every day. Basaldua feels thankful that even after testing positive for the novel virus, he did not have life-threatening symptoms that many others have experienced. After going for retesting this past Tuesday, Basaldua knew he wanted to give back in a major way. His action? To donate his plasma.
According to the FDA, the antibodies found in COVID-19 survivor’s plasma might help others fight off the virus. “There is very strong evidence that the plasma is helping people recover” says Basaldua. Like Basaldua, survivors of the virus must wait at least 28 days after their last symptom or have no symptoms for at least 14 days and test negative for COVID-19 in order to donate their plasma. As soon as Basaldua received his negative test result, he wasted no time in setting up an appointment to donate. Receiving his result on a Tuesday and set up an appointment to donate his plasma that Thursday.
Plasma Donations are in Demand
While plasma therapy is not a new drug therapy, it is still considered an investigational drug therapy for COVID-19. Dr. Anita Kurian, Head of Communicable Disease Division says plasma therapy has been “used in the past for several novel infections very successfully”. With several hospitals already using this method, the outcome seems promising with early results showing positive feedback in the use of plasma therapy.
“This is one important way people can contribute especially if they have just recovered” says San Antonio’s Mayor Ron Nirenberg who applauds Basaldua and others donating. Currently Basaldua has donated five bags of plasma and hopes to donate more soon. “There’s 176 people maybe more now that have recovered from this virus. If everybody gives one bag, which most people can give more than one bag, then we have enough bags to cover everyone in the hospitals right now,” says Basaldua.
The San Antonio native encourages people to donate plasma as with more donors there will be plasma for all blood types, allowing for more people to get treated, not having to wait for plasma to match their specific blood type. Between round the clock research being done by scientists and health care workers and heroes like Basaldua giving back, COVID-19 is a battle we can surely beat with an all hands in approach. Little by little we can stop the spread of the virus and help those in need.