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Efforts underway to collect convalescent plasma, check accuracy of rapid COVID-19 tests

A special effort is underway to increase donations of antibody-rich convalescent plasma to help people recover from COVID-19.
A special effort is underway to increase donations of antibody-rich convalescent plasma to help people recover from COVID-19.

SOUTH MIAMI, Fla. – A special effort is underway to increase donations of antibody-rich convalescent plasma to help people recover from COVID-19.

South Miami Children’s Hospital teamed up with the Heal As One Foundation for free antibody testing Monday in South Miami.

Among those who came out to donate were some local first responders.

“We’re testing people for antibodies so we can increase our donor pool,” Paul LaRoche, of Heal As One, said. “Our mission is to match plasma donors with critically ill patients, and we do that by bringing the community together to act as one. Our motto is, ‘When we act as one, we heal as one.’”

“We gotta make sure that we’re protecting the public, and one of the main things that I need to do as chief of police is to make sure that all my people have been tested and that they’re OK,” South Miami Police Chief Rene Landa said. “Because they’re out in the field, they’re responding to calls for service, there’s arrests that they have to make sometimes. So they’re put in situations where they’re in contact with citizens all day long. So my concern is the health of my officers first, making sure they’re OK, so we can protect our public.”

Meanwhile, the town of Miami Lakes is partnering with Innovative Transfusion Medicine to study the validity of rapid tests.

Clinical data from that collection effort this week is being held at the Miami Lakes Youth Center and will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.