The Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay), which oversees Turkey’s blood drives, is concerned about decreasing stocks as the COVID-19 pandemic is discouraging people from blood and plasma donations.
The charity’s president, Dr. Kerem Kınık said that if the donations do not increase, they “we will face difficulties.”
“Stocks are not at a very low level, but people should donate more. They should especially donate more immune plasma. We see daily plasma demand rising to more than 1,000 units from an average of 400 to 500 daily because of the peaking number of patients in the last couple of weeks. We expect recovered patients to be extra sensitive in terms of donation in this period,” Kınık appealed to the public.
Plasma is used in complementary plasma therapy for coronavirus patients. Recovered patients can donate for the treatment of others, though the process only offers temporary protection and passive immunization. The plasma infusion gives patients a temporary dose of someone else’s antibodies that is short-lived and requires repeated doses.