Recovered Miami students donate plasma to aid in important collection effort

Miami University senior Will Vandeveer donates plasma during a Convalescent Plasma Drive hosted by Hoxworth Blood Center and Miami University on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020 at Miami University's Armstrong Student Center in Oxford. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Miami University senior Will Vandeveer donates plasma during a Convalescent Plasma Drive hosted by Hoxworth Blood Center and Miami University on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020 at Miami University's Armstrong Student Center in Oxford. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

For the first time in the Butler County region, college students who have recovered from coronavirus are helping current patients by giving their plasma.

Dozens of Miami University students rolled up their sleeves and donated possibly life-saving plasma Wednesday on the school’s main Oxford campus.

It was a first such collegiate donation program for southwest Ohio, said Hoxworth Blood Center officials.

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And the recent sharp jumps in the number of coronavirus cases, both locally and statewide, makes the donations from previously infected young adults are the more important, said officials.

Wednesday’s state report showed the trend is continuing as officials reported an average of 2,030 cases of coronavirus a day, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The state added 2,607 cases Wednesday for a total of 205,347. There have been more than 2,000 cases reported each day for the last nine days, including a record-setting day on Saturday when 2,858 cases were reported.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s more detailed briefing scheduled for Thursday afternoon may bring more urgings and possibly further state-mandates designed to slow the spread.

Hoxworth spokeswoman Cara Nicolas said the donations by fraternity and sorority students are timely and encouraging.

“This is extremely exciting, as orders for convalescent plasma from local hospitals have increased dramatically in recent weeks,” said Nicolas.

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Convalescent plasma is collected from recovered coronavirus patients who have developed antibodies against the virus in their plasma, said Hoxworth officials.

Transfusions of plasma may ameliorate the progression of the disease and even in some patients change significantly the outcome of the disease progression.

“Hoxworth Blood Center was one of the first organizations to begin collecting convalescent plasma in Ohio for the treatment of COVID-19,” said Alecia Lipton, director of public relations for Hoxworth Blood Center.

“As this virus continues to spread, demand for and usage of convalescent plasma is expected to grow. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Miami University on this lifesaving initiative.”

Officials said individuals who have recovered from a documented infection of COVID-19 and have been symptom-free for at least 14 days are eligible to donate. The donation process will take approximately 90-minutes.

Miami University senior Will Vandeveer was one of those who made an appointment to donate at the school’s Armstrong Student Center.

“By donating, I am doing my part and paying it forward. It’s the right thing to do with so much wrong in the world,” said Vandeveer.

Steve Large, assistant vice president for health and wellness at Miami, said “this initiative illustrates some of the best qualities of Miami University students, namely their generous and innovative spirits and deep interconnectedness. We are grateful for Hoxworth Blood Center’s engagement with Miami to meaningfully impact COVID-19 efforts.”

Coronavirus latest

9,181: Cases reported in Butler County

2,214: Cases reported at Miami University

2,607: New cases reported Wednesday in Ohio

205,347: Total cases reported in Ohio

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