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Tennesseans who have recovered from COVID-19 may be able to help those right now who are trying to fight the virus.

If you recently contracted and fought off the COVID-19 virus, the plasma in your blood now contains COVID-19 antibodies, which is how your body’s immune system was able to fight the virus.

Antibodies are simple proteins your body produces in response to an infection and they are contained in your blood.

Hospitals can use this plasma from recovered patients, often called convalescent plasma, and provide it to hospitalized patients currently fighting COVID-19 to help them recover.

How do you donate plasma?

Those who have been fully-recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks, and are eligible to donate blood, can be considered as plasma donors.

And there are a number of resources to help you decide and donate.

The American Red Cross has educational materials and information on eligibility and how to sign up to donate convalescent plasma.

The AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks), America’s Blood Centers, and Blood Centers of America also have location tools to help you select where in your area you can donate plasma.

What else should you know?

To donate convalescent plasma, you’ll need to have documentation of a prior COVID-19 diagnosis from a laboratory text.

However, a negative COVID-19 lab test is not necessary in order to be eligible to donate plasma.

You will need to have a complete resolution of COVID-19 symptoms for at least 14 days.

Even if you haven’t had COVID-19, you can still consider donating blood because it is needed every day to provide life-saving treatments to a variety of patients.