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    COVID-recovered Soldiers called to donate blood

    FORT STEWART, GA, UNITED STATES

    08.26.2020

    Story by Spc. Noelle Wiehe 

    50th Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT STEWART, Ga. — Soldiers who have recovered from COVID-19 are being called to participate in the Armed Forces Blood Program blood drive from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 2-3, at Club Stewart. Those who donate are eligible to receive a $25 gift card that can be used to shop at various brand-name companies.

    The product the AFBP is after is called COVID-convalescent plasma, said Marc Dewees, supervisor for the Kendrick Memorial Blood Donation Center on Fort Gordon. The CCP is the liquid part of blood that contains antibodies, which is collected from patients who have recovered from COVID-19, according to the convalescent plasma factsheet released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on fda.gov.

    The website states that there is some data to suggest convalescent plasma might help some patients who are sick with COVID-19.

    “It has been approved by the FDA, completely approved,” Dewees said.

    More than 70,000 patients have already been treated with the product, Dewees said, which is proven to be most effective when administered within the first three days of a patient experiencing symptoms.

    The AFBP is trying to get between 8,000 and 10,000 units stocked before the end of September, he said.

    “We are trying to stay at the tip of the spear with collecting this plasma,” Dewees said.

    Pat Young, a Fort Stewart employee, said he intends to donate during the drive and has already scheduled an appointment.

    “COVID is already causing a strain on available resources,” Young said. “If we could develop a response, it could greatly enhance our mission readiness as well as relieve a lot of stress on Families.”

    Young, who recently recovered from the virus, said that it can feel uplifting to help out someone that may become infected in the future.

    “It made me feel good that I could turn it around from a bad experience to a resource that could help others,” Young said.

    The drive is targeted toward those who have recovered from the virus, but Dewees said any person who wishes to donate whole blood may do so as well at the blood drive.

    “We’re more than happy to take them,” Dewees said.

    The appointments will be spaced out to prevent large groups gathered at any given time. Donors and collectors will wear a mask at all times and the stations will be sanitized between donations, Dewees said.

    The AFBP is the military’s official blood supplier. They are a Department of Defense agency that provides blood products for Service members, veterans and their Families during both peacetime and war, according to their website. They have components working together to collect, process, store, distribute and transfuse blood worldwide as a joint operation among the military services.

    Donors must be at least 17-years old, weigh at least 116 pounds, and must be free of cold, flu and COVID-19 symptoms.

    Appointments are highly encouraged to maintain social distance and prevent large groups; however walk-ins will be accommodated. Appointments can be made at militarydonor.com, by searching for code word ‘stewart’. For information and restrictions on eligibility, visit militaryblood.dod.mil.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.26.2020
    Date Posted: 08.27.2020 13:17
    Story ID: 376840
    Location: FORT STEWART, GA, US 

    Podcast Hits: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN