Photo Credit: SANBS

Convalescent plasma may be a new buzz word, and anyone who has tested positive and recovered from COVID-19 can donate theirs to the SANBS.


South Africa (09 July 2020) – If you have recently recovered from COVID-19 and been free from any symptoms for 28 days, you could save a life by donating convalescent plasma.

The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) is exploring ways to use blood plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 patients locally. Following approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee, SANBS will be starting phase 2 clinical trials on plasma donated by recovered patients for national clinical trials to test the safety and effectiveness of convalescent plasma for the possible treatment of COVID-19. This includes supplying convalescent plasma to physicians currently treating patients with the virus in the context of the clinical trial.

A convalescent plasma donation is like a regular plasma donation. The critical difference is the need for a specific type of donor for this clinical trial. If you have recovered from COVID-19, you could donate your plasma.

Plasma Donor Eligibility Criteria

To participate, donors need to meet South Africa’s current plasma donor eligibility criteria and must additionally:

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 65.
  • Weigh more than 55kg.
  • Have a previous positive diagnosis for COVID-19 by a laboratory test.
  • Have fully recovered from the virus and free of symptom for at least 28 days.
  • Have access to an SANBS donor centre.
  • Females who have been pregnant before are not eligible.

“Donors who meet these requirements are encouraged to join our online registry. Contact Cynthia Nyoni 0825539041/0117619279 for more information.”

You can sign up to the registry here.

What is convalescent plasma?

Convalescent plasma is plasma that is collected from patients who have recovered from a virus, which contains neutralising antibodies necessary to fight off a virus. These antibodies develop in the body’s plasma and remain there for some time – even after someone has fully recovered – to shield them from possible future infection from that virus. In theory, these antibodies could be the key ingredient for a treatment to help others with the same virus. The use of convalescent plasma to treat an illness is not a new concept in medicine. In fact, convalescent plasma was used as a treatment for patients during the 1918 influenza outbreak – also known as the Spanish flu.

Sources: SANBS
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Tyler Leigh Vivier
About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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