The Crown Heights community was host to an historic plasma drive on Wednesday, the first ever held in a location other than an official blood center.
The drive was organized New York Blood Center in conjunction with Ahavas Chessed and the COVID Plasma Initiative, an organization dedicated to coordinating plasma drives in frum communities throughout the Tri-States.
During the recent months, the COVID Plasma Initiative, founded by Mordechai Serle, ran tens of drives which saw thousands from the frum community line up to donate plasma in an effort to save the lives of those suffering from COVID-19.
Previous drives only tested the volunteers for antibodies and then had then travel to various locations to donate plasma. Wednesday’s drive was unique in the fact that the actual donation took place on the spot, with no need to travel. Donors came the Crown Heights community, as well as from Williamsburg, Boro Park, Queens and other locations.
As COVID-19 spreads at historic rates, the convalescent plasma is being shipped around the country, with focus on the hardest hit states, including Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and California.
In the treatment, known as convalescent plasma, the patient is transfused with the donor’s plasma with the goal of using the donor’s antibodies to help clear the virus more rapidly and help decrease the need for ICU beds and ventilators. Each donation can be used to treat two to three patients struggling with severe cases of COVID-19; over 34,000 units of convalescent plasma have been collected from donors to date.
“The entire world has recognized what the frum community has been doing,” organizers told Anash.org. “Literally thousands of lives have been saved by these drives, resulting in an unprecedented Kiddush Hashem.”
More drives will be held over the coming week. To sign up for an upcoming drives, taking part in the great mitzvah of saving lives, please visit www.covidplasmasavealife.com
PHOTOS VIA ANASH.ORG