Recruitment Strategy for Potential COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donors

This narrative provides a rationale for and overview of the strategy developed by the U.S. COVID Plasma Expanded Access Program (EAP) team to identify people who had recovered from COVID-19 and recruit them to donate convalescent plasma at the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program in Rochester, Minnesota.

  • This recruitment strategy used a simple survey, an algorithm for triaging donors, a workflow for connecting donors with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program, a screening team and a support center for donor questions.
  • To accommodate the growing magnitude and geographical spread of COVID-19 survivors and changing convalescent donor eligibility criteria, the strategy was designed to be inherently modifiable. It may be adopted by other institutions to rapidly increase convalescent plasma donor recruitment.
  • The full set of survey questions is included in the article along with distribution and information security procedures.
  • Survey respondents were classified by whether and how soon they were eligible to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma and were triaged accordingly.
  • Strengths of this strategy include inherent scalability and transferability, reduced donor-screening workload, more convenience for donors, rapid identification of current and future eligible doors, and the ability to modify donor eligibility criteria in real time.
  • Future challenges include introducing plasma fractionators to include otherwise ineligible groups of potential donors, leveraging electronic medical records to increase the volume of donors, and partnering with other health care systems or institutions to both increase the number of potential plasma donors and make it easier for them to donate.