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Caddo deputy, recovered from COVID-19, donates plasma to other virus patients

A Caddo deputy who recovered from COVID-19 is now helping other critically ill coronavirus patients by donating his plasma.  

Cpl. Kevin Calhoun donated one of the first COVID-19 convalescent plasmas in Louisiana, according to LifeShare Blood Center. Calhoun was joined in his effort by his friend David Langston, who was the first person to test positive for the virus in Caddo Parish. Both Calhoun and Langston were recently retested and their results were negative.  

According to LifeShare's Wendell Jones, because Calhoun and Langston are recovered, their blood contains antibodies that can help others with advanced stages of infection fight the virus. 

Calhoun's plasma was expected to be transfused to a critical patient at Ochsner LSU Hospital.  This will be the first transfusion of its kind in Louisiana and among the first in the United States, according to Jones, Executive Director of Quality and Regulatory Services at LifeShare.   

Calhoun, a Caddo deputy for more than 12 years, learned of plasma transfusions for COVID-19 patients from a co-worker. When someone he knew became ill, he called and offered to donate.

"I knew something good would come out of this," he said. "If it works, a lot of people should be encouraged to do it."   Calhoun said the process went smoothly and he was in and out of the blood center in less than two hours. He said he plans to donate again.  

Langston also plans to donate again. He said he had heard of plasma transfusions for COVID-19 patients and was approached about donating plasma by the family of someone recently hospitalized with the virus. His response was "Tell me when and where." Today, he and Calhoun donated together.   "If there is a silver lining to this cloud of coronavirus it's that I got over it relatively easily, and if I got it to help someone else who wouldn't have had such an easy time, then I'm there," he said. "I plan to do it as many times as they call me, keeping my own health in mind."  

Plasma donations can go to one or multiple patients. Jones added that the current FDA research with convalescent plasma may lead to new therapies and vaccines to fight the current and future cases of COVID-19.  

For more information about donating plasma if you have recovered from COVID-19, contact LifeShare Blood

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