LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - As COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations continue to rise, the demand for convalescent plasma also increases greatly.
In late October, COVID hit the Kubac family.
“Since my wife already had it, I knew it was likely I was going to get it,” Jeremy Kubac said.
Kubac did and COVID hit him hard.
“I was in absolute misery,” Kubac said. “It wasn’t until a Monday afternoon and I looked down on my fingertips and they were blue. This went from being uncomfortable, to this could kill me.”
The 39-year-old from Shepherdsville said his oxygen level was low. He was taken by an ambulance to Louisville and spent five days in the hospital. Doctors ended up treating him with three things: Remdesivir, Dexamethasone, and Convalescent Plasma.
Convalescent Plasma is a therapy that uses blood from people who’ve recovered from an illness to help others recover. It’s being used to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. Kubac believes it helped him get back on his feet.
“I’m really thankful to that anonymous donor who took the time and effort to make that donation,” Kubac said. “Because without that part, my recovery wouldn’t be possible.”
Because there are so many people like Kubac, there is a overwhelming demand for this plasma.
“Many are waiting to get the vaccination, this has been a miracle for many,” Tiffany Taylor from the American Red Cross said.
There is national shortage of convalescent plasma. The American Red Cross says over the past year, they have distributed over 150,000 convalescent plasma donations across the country and need more.
“We’ve seen an uptick in that amount 250% since October of area hospital partners as well as those across the country,” Taylor said.
Kubac said he still has some lingering effects from COVID, but overall is much better. He plans to donate his convalescent plasma when he can.
“This is an opportunity for you to really step up and potentially save someone’s life,” Kubac said.
COVID-19 survivors can also help by donating blood. The Red Cross is also antibody testing all blood donations collected at blood drives– making every blood or convalescent plasma donation an opportunity to help COVID-19 patients. For more information on requirements to donate and how, click here.