AAPI COVID plasma donation task force team disclaimer: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic AAPI is posting regular updates regards to role of convalescent plasma in treating, supporting COVID-19 infected patients. While AAPI aims to provide information that is helpful, accurate and up-to date, the relevant information regarding the potential benefits of plasma donation, and data concerning the disease, as well as the various regulatory actions and responses to the disease management, are evolving, and AAPI COVID Plasma Donation task force team makes no representation, warranty, or guaranty whatsoever as to any information that may be exchanged through these updates.

The below information is basic educational purpose only and provides basic direction to the available clinical trials applicable to COVID -19 convalescent plasma donation. By no means this serves as a treatment guide or physicians advise. Always follow your respective treating physicians’ advice and recommendations of your providers at your treating institution/ practice.


Universal plasma donor is AB+ (neither of A nor B antigens are present in the plasma) meaning AB + plasma can be transfused into patients who have any other ABO blood type.

Plasma can be frozen has a shelf life of one year but usually sent out to patients within days.

Directed Donations:
A friend or family members that is approved to donate for a specific patient. If the specific blood type is compatible, the unit will be reserved for that patients. Directed donations require approval of the patient’s physician and the patient must approve the names of the directed donors.

When a transfusion is given it is preferable for patients to receive blood and plasma of the same ABO and RhD group.

Patient type:
A (compatible plasma types A, Ab)
B (compatible plasma types B, AB)
O (compatible plasma types are O, A, B and AB)
AB (compatible plasma types AB).

Frequently Asked Questions

Few aspects donors and recipients might want to know.

Do we have experience with using convalescent plasma to treat virus infected patients?
SARS1 in 2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2012 were epidemics where this treatment was used. The SARS1 epidemic was contained, but MERS became endemic in the Middle East and triggered a secondary major outbreak in South Korea. In both outbreaks, the high mortality and absence of effective therapies led to the use of convalescent serum.

Are there any reports to support use of convalescent plasma in COVID-19 infected patients?
Only few details are available from the epidemic in China and published studies involved small numbers of patients, the available information suggests that convalescent serum administration reduced viral load and was safe. Data is limited though.

How does Convalescent plasma (plasma from a recovered patient) work?
Possible mechanism of action by which passive antibody therapy would mediate protection is viral neutralization. Other possible pathways are antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and/or phagocytosis.

What do we know about the amount of antibody needed to be effective?
For passive antibody therapy to be effective, enough antibody must be administered. When given to a susceptible person, this antibody will circulate in the blood, reach tissues, and provide protection against infection.

Are there any risks of plasma infusion?
Risks associated with transfer of blood substances, which include inadvertent infection with another infectious disease agent and reactions to serum constituents, including immunological reactions such as serum sickness.
Bright part is that with modern blood banking techniques that screen for blood-borne pathogens and match the blood type of donors and recipients, the risks of inadvertently transferring known infectious agents or triggering transfusion reactions are low.
For all cases where convalescent serum administration is considered, a risk benefit assessment must be conducted to assess individual risk versus benefit.

What do you need to know as a donor about the process that might qualify you as a donor?

The designated plasma donation collections center will ask you to fill the questionnaire about your diagnosis, symptoms recovery, time period etc. Other terms you might want to be familiar with are following. These were few tests that were done on the donors on the clinical studies.
Tests to prove that donor is negative for SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses, as well as for hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, HIV, and syphilis at the time of blood donation. Serum SARS-CoV-2–specific ELISA antibody titer, neutralizing antibody titer. Practices might differ but approximately, 400 mL of convalescent plasma is obtained from each donor by apheresis, and the plasma usually is immediately transfused to the recipients on the same day or within days it was obtained.

Where do I find the local plasma donation centers?

Please find below the Mayo Clinic protocols for site registration and patient enrollment.



Sudhakar Jonnalagadda M.D, AGAF
President, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin

Madhavi Gorusu, M.D, M.B. A.
President, Connecticut Association of Physicians of Indian Origin