EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — Dr. Sohail Rao, President and CEO, at DHR Health Institute for Research and Development says over the past 36 hours there has been a rapid increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the region.
“Talk to any of the intensivists in various hospitals in the region, they will tell you their ICU’s are actually full with patients who are sick with severe life-threatening COVID-19 infections,” says Dr. Rao.
Dr. Rao says with no known drug or treatment available to fight the disease they are turning to plasma donations from recovered patients, and they say it’s their best option to fight the virus.
Dr. Rao adds they are looking for patients who have been previously infected with COVID-19 and recovered, or if you were exposed by a loved one and recovered.
“Those antibodies have been therapeutic in you because you have recovered from it, but more importantly we can actually trade those antibodies and transfuse it into the patients who have severe life-threatening COVID infections,” says Dr. Rao.
Six area hospitals including DHR Health, Mission Regional, Rio Grande Regional, Valley Baptist in both Brownsville and Harlingen, and Valley Regional in Brownsville are teaming up for the Valley-wide initiative.
To participate you must call first and they will have you come in for an antibody test. If you are eligible you will be sent to an area blood bank to donate and you will receive a $75 compensation.
Dr. Rao says that compensation is a very small part of what you would be doing for the community, patients, and doctors fighting the virus.
Doctors say type O Blood is needed the most urgently. For more information or to see if you qualify call 956-215-3166 or 504-444-2318.