Governor Kevin Stitt is sharing his experience after donating plasma to help those fighting COVID-19.
Governor Stitt tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-July and has since recovered. This week he donated convalescent plasma at the Oklahoma Blood Institute in Enid.
Governor Stitt is now calling on other Oklahomans who have recovered from COVID-19 to do the same.
The governor said it's the easiest way Oklahomans can help their friends and neighbors and he said the process wasn't bad at all.
“They just make it very comfortable for you and I'm normally nervous to give blood, but this worked out very well and it was really easy, so it's just kind of all in your head and it worked out good," said Gov. Stitt.
In a news release from the governor’s office said convalescent plasma is being given earlier in-patient treatment. That means not only a greater demand for the plasma but also better patient outcomes, the release said.
“That's one of the main treatments right now is to give the plasma antibodies to people being treated in the hospital for COVID, so for every person that has an antibody, that's already recovered from it, we can help four Oklahomans [who are battling COVID-19]," the governor said.
Dr. John Armitage, president, and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute said convalescent plasma is a critical product in the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the community blood supplier servicing more than 90% of the state, we need all Oklahomans who have recovered from COVID-19 to answer the Governor’s call and donate convalescent plasma with OBI, ensuring we have this lifesaving product on the shelves for our neighbors in local communities,” said Dr. Armitage.
The Oklahoma Department of Health reports more than 36,000 Oklahomans have recovered.
The Oklahoma Blood Institute provides convalescent plasma and other blood products to more than 160 hospitals and medical facilities across the state, with donor centers located in Ada, Ardmore, Edmond, Enid, Lawton, Norman, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa.
Donors can call 1-888-308-3924 or visit obi.org for more information.