Blood Centers Are Barely Meeting Convalescent Plasma Demand

Despite a lack of scientific studies on its efficacy for Covid-19, interest in the treatment has surged alongside case numbers.

The demand for convalescent plasma continues to rise and blood collection organizations are struggling to keep up. One way they have increased the supply of appropriate plasma is to test every blood donation for the presence of antibodies to coronavirus.

The American Red Cross reported that demand for convalescent plasma more than doubled in July, reducing its inventory by about 70 percent. “Our demand just spiked incredibly,” says Pampee Young, the organization’s chief medical officer. The Red Cross was able to build up inventory over April, May, and June, but Young says as demand increased in late June, they didn’t have enough donors to match the need, depleting their stores.