The University of South Carolina held its first Convalescent Plasma Blood Drive for students, faculty and staff who have recovered from COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon.
According to UofSC’s Student Health Services website, the antibodies in convalescent plasma can be used to help treat local Columbia patients with COVID-19.
The Convalescent Plasma Blood Drive was a partnership between The Blood Connection, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Medicine and Student Health Services. UofSC students from the College of Pharmacy tabled outside of the Student Health Center throughout the day, urging students and faculty to donate.
Olivia Schad and Kylie Kistler, both third-year pharmacy students, expressed how pleased they were with the turnout. “We had an amazing, amazing turnout today. We started with appointments on our online sign up and then we’ve had lots and lots of walk-ins -- probably 15 to 20 by the end of the day walked in, which is huge for the Blood Connection. Usually, they only get a couple of patients a day. So, for us to have 12 appointments, plus potentially 20 walk-ins, is really big,” said Schad.
Kistler emphasized the importance of the drive, explaining that one person donating plasma can help up to four different patients in the hospital. “For reference, when we first started this project we were hoping to have like seven people donate plasma -- because having seven people donate would have helped 20-30 people. Just having one person donate, you’re having an effect on multiple people,” said Kistler.
Even though the event was only one day, students and faculty can donate blood any time at the mobile donation center located on Greene Street. For more information, visit the university's website.