COVID-19 Survivors Ask Fellow Survivors to Donate Blood to Develop Antibodies for Patients

COVID-19 survivors are backing the appeal of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) to all COVID-19 survivors to donate their blood, which could help in the recovery of other patients afflicted with the coronavirus disease. So far, a number of them have heeded PGH’s appeal. The first three donors were Ian Frias, Galey Arranz, and Kai Soriano.

PGH spokesperson Jonas Del Rosario thanked them as “they rose above the stigma and showed the world that their plasma is a gift of life”. The antibodies that helped them defeat COVID-19 will be transferred to other patients via plasma transfusion. The blood of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 is rich in antibodies that could potentially fight the virus infection.

On April 12, Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara also donated his blood. He tested positive for COVID-19 on March 26. He recovered from COVID-19 and was discharged from the hospital on April 6. He is also calling other COVID-19 survivors to donate blood, as well. Two other senators tested positive with COVID-19, Miguel Zubiri and Koko Pimentel, and have since recovered, too.

“I hope the Department of Health (Philippines), COVID-19 Task Force, and the DILG can help share databases to ask COVID-19 patients to share their plasma. It is very much needed by patients now. Right now, the hospitals just have an informal network. Agency/institutional action will speed up the process of getting survivors to donate. The moment plasma is given, it goes straight to a COVID-19 patient. Please tell any survivors you know. There is no stigma and they can save lives,” Senator Angara said in a post on his Facebook page.

President Duterte has also endorsed the appeal of PGH and has urged COVID-19 survivors to donate their blood. In his recent address on television, the president said the availability of an antibody medicine will make him lift the enhanced community quarantine presently prevailing in Luzon until April 30. He said a big pharmaceutical company has already developed it and will soon roll it out for sale.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines antibodies as “a substance that fights bacteria” or “a protein found in the blood that is produced in response to foreign substances (e.g. bacteria or viruses) invading the body”. Antibodies protect the body from disease by binding to these organisms and destroying them.

PGH continues to intensify its appeal and many COVID-19 survivors have expressed willingness to donate their blood, including actress Iza Calzado and Senator Zubiri. As of April today, the country has posted 722 recoveries from COVID-19.

COVID-19 survivors who wish to donate their blood may contact 155-200 or 09178053207. Regular blood donors are also needed to replenish the supply in the blood bank of PGH for patients in need. Blood donation drives are presently suspended due to the community quarantine or lockdown, thus there was a decline in the number of blood donors.

Know anyone willing to donate? They can call the PGH Blood Bank at 8554-8400 local 3017.

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