WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — As the need for plasma continues to skyrocket throughout the nation during COVID-19 pandemic, Texas Blood Institutes officials said they are launching a donation campaign that will enter those who donate into a drawing to win $1,000.
The campaign will begin on July 20, and those who donate will be entered for a chance to win one of the two $1,000 prizes given away to that day’s convalescent plasma donors.
To enter into the drawing, a person must have had a positive COVID-19 test result, be symptom-free for 14 days and be at least seven days past their last blood or plasma donation.
“This giveaway will provide another reason for qualifying, recovered COVID-19 patients to join the 20 or so similar heroes currently coming in to give each day,” a press release from TBI stated.
According to TBI, the need for these donations has increased 700% in the last few weeks, and if more donations do not come in, officials state patients will have to wait for these lifesaving necessities.
One plasma donation with TBI provides plasma to up to four COVID-19 patients, and it takes about 30 minutes to donates.
TBI officials state there is a decline in eligible plasma donors as competition from commercial, for-profit plasma centers rises. They often offering direct cash payments to each donor.
According to TBI officials, these plasma centers are “pursuing research and development for the next generation of COVID drugs that are many months away from FDA approval and will not be widely available for treating patients well into 2021. Texas Blood Institute needs its donors to help save patient lives in the here and now.”
TBI president and CEO Dr. John Armitage stated they will do what they can to encourage donations during this critical time.
“In their battle against COVID-19, patients and those caring for them need the comfort of knowing that the necessary treatment will be available for them when they need it,” Armitage stated. “If this daily drawing can help be the extra push donors need to schedule their donation, the investment will more than pay off. No one can put a price on saving the life of a neighbor.”