FDA Updates Blood Donor Eligibility Qualifications

With recent changes in eligibility rules, donating blood at Cascade Regional Blood Services (CRBS) is now easier than ever. When the need remains critically high, donors that have been deferred in the past may now be eligible to donate.

According to Cascade Regional Blood Services, someone needs blood every two seconds in the United States. Blood is used in several vital procedures, including surgeries, cancer treatments, and when caring for terminal illnesses and life-threatening injuries.

Fortunately, updated recommendations to donor qualifications were made by the FDA earlier this year to meet the growing demands for the contribution of blood and blood components as a direct result of COVID-19.

“The recent FDA guidance changes will make more donors eligible, which helps CRBS maintain an adequate blood supply for our community,” said Tara Crosby, Director of Quality Assurance at CRBS. “Maintaining an adequate blood supply is essential at any time but especially during a pandemic when we do not need another public health threat such as a blood supply shortage.”

The FDA changes took place immediately and will likely be permanent once the pandemic has concluded.

Let's Stick It To COVID

It is vital that all eligible individuals continue to answer the call and schedule an appointment to donate plasma. To date, independent community blood centers (non-American Red Cross) have distributed more than 100,000 units of convalescent plasma to patients in need.” America’s Blood Centers

If you had a laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 and have since experienced a full recovery please sign up to be a COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Donor. If you have further questions, please contact the Supervisor of Clinical and Research Procedures at Cascade Regional Blood Services at 253-383-2553 | heathers@crbs.net. It is safe and an essential act to donate blood and convalescent plasma to ensure its availability for patients in need.

Surgeon General Dr. Adams

I’m Surgeon General Jerome Adams. If you have recovered from COVID-19, confirmed by a positive test, you’re in a special position to help us fight the virus. Your plasma has antibodies that may help others fight COVID. so please donate plasma now. You can literally help save lives.

CRBS SHOUT-OUT: Gordy made platelet donation number 300!

Bright and early this morning Gordy made platelet donation number 300. THREE HUNDRED!

The dedication and commitment that Gordy has for his community is outstanding. We are so fortunate that he is part of our CRBS family. Thank you, Gordy, for your generous heart that has saved the lives of so many!

Multicare Vitals: After recovering from COVID-19, MultiCare surgeon donates funds and his own plasma to help others

MultiCare Vitals shares the story of Dr. Prakash Gatta, MBBS, FACS, an esophageal surgeon who contracted COVID-19 in March.

“At its worst, it felt like a very unusual flu — one like I’d never had before. And even today, I’m still feeling weak and sleeping isn’t always easy. The effects are still lingering.”

Dr. Gatta recovered, and immediately signed up to donate his convalescent plasma in a clinical trial that Cascade Regional Blood Services is running in partnership with the Mayo Clinic. The trial will help future patients who are infected.

“Until a vaccine comes out, there is no drug for this, so studies like these become very important,” Gatta explains.

Read the full article



Cascade Regional Blood Services is giving away gift cards to 13 lucky donors between July 1 – December 12. Each time you register to donate blood (whole blood and automated) you will automatically be entered into a drawing to win a $500 gift card.

  • $500 gift cards.
  • Thirteen winners.
  • One winner will be drawn every other week for 26 weeks.
  • Whole Blood and Automated Donors are eligible.
  • Donors are automatically entered to win after registering to donate at a Donor Center or Blood Drive.
  • Due to the critical need for O POS blood type, these donors will receive TWO entries at each donation.
  • The more you donate the more chances you have to win.
  • Online Gift Card.
  • Email address must be on file with CRBS.
  • Donors are eligible to win once.
  • Therapeutic procedures are not eligible to win.


  • Week One: James | Bonney Lake
  • Week Two: Erica | Tacoma
  • Week Three: Tate | Tacoma
  • Week Four: Gary | Spanaway
  • Week Five: Laurel | Buckley
  • Week Six: Branden | Orting
  • Week Seven: Kimberly | Puyallup
  • Week Eight: Kimberly | Tacoma
  • Week Nine: Aubrey | Tacoma
  • Week Ten: Kelsey | Bremerton 
  • Week Eleven:
  • Week Twelve:
  • Week Thirteen:

The News Tribune: Convalescent plasma seen as 'glimmer of hope' for people suffering from COVID-19

The News Tribune reports that regional blood banks—including Cascade Regional Blood Services—are collecting plasma to send to hospitals, giving sick individuals the antibodies to fight COVID-19.

The plasma filled with these antibodies is transfused into sick people to give their immune system a fighting chance, said Tara Crosby, quality assurance director for Cascade Regional Blood Services.

[…] “We really do need as many people as possible to increase our donor base for convalescent plasma,” Crosby said. “If you’ve recovered and want to help, we’d love to hear from you.”

Read the full article

CRBS’ Rapid Response to COVID-19

Help provide new hope in our fight against the coronavirus

Recovered COVID-19 patient Alissa Kelli Sarbiewski donates plasma at Cascade Regional Blood Services

South Sound Magazine: Recovered COVID Patients’ Plasma Donations Could Lead to Treatment

Recovered COVID-19 patient Alissa Kelli Sarbiewski donates plasma at Cascade Regional Blood Services

South Sound Magazine reports that Cascade Regional Blood Services is taking part in a national effort to search for new treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, largely by looking at blood plasma donations from people who have recovered from it.

Enumclaw resident Alissa Kelli Sarbiewski is one of many recovered COVID patients who has decided to donate her blood plasma to research.

“I donated plasma because I want to help others who are suffering with COVID-19,” Sarbiewski said. “If my antibodies are the way I can pay it forward, I’m eager to take part. The biggest lesson in all of this for me is that even the hardest trials can become positive and meaningful when seen through a lens of potentially helping someone else.”

Read the full article

Kent Reporter: MultiCare Health System Announces New Treatment for COVID-19 Patients: Seeks Plasma Donations from People Recovered from Coronavirus

Tacoma-based MultiCare Health System, including hospitals in Auburn and Covington, has another treatment option for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

The Expanded Access Program for Convalescent Plasma, led by the Mayo Clinic, is for COVID-19 patients who have or are at risk of severe or life-threatening disease, according to a MultiCare news release on Monday. Patients who choose this treatment get a transfusion of plasma donated by people who have recovered from COVID-19, or “convalescents,” and have since tested negative. The donor plasma contains antibodies that can attack the virus, and early studies have shown that it may help patients recover faster.

The first three MultiCare patients to get donor plasma were treated April 18.

“We are treating those who are faring the worst first,” said Dr. Scott Meehan Jr., the program’s primary investigator for MultiCare’s Puget Sound region hospitals.

Read The Article

Recovering local COVID-19 patients leading the charge in the race to develop new treatments

TACOMA, Wash.April 29, 2020 — Washington was the first epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., and Pierce County was among the earliest and hardest hit. Now it’s at the forefront of the race for new treatments and vaccines, thanks in part to the work of Cascade Regional Blood Services.

Treatments depend on research of blood plasma donations from people who’ve recovered from COVID-19. The FDA is coordinating a national effort along with America’s Blood Centers to develop these treatments.

Convalescent COVID-19 plasma is not only being studied for its antibodies—the plasma itself may be administered as an emergency treatment for patients critically ill with the disease. The topic of convalescent blood plasma is highly likely to trend in coming weeks and months. Because our region was the earliest and hardest hit, we have the greatest number of recovered patients who can and are contributing.

In Pierce and South King Counties, Cascade Regional Blood Services (CRBS) is coordinating the local effort to collect convalescent plasma, which is then distributed through MultiCare hospitals and a national network called BioLinked to provide blood products for treatments and research.

Recovered COVID patients such as Alissa from Enumclaw have marched right back in to a donation center. “I donated plasma because I want to help others who are suffering with COVID-19. If my antibodies are the way I can pay it forward, I’m eager to take part. The biggest lesson in all of this for me is that even the hardest trials can become positive and meaningful when seen through a lens of potentially helping someone else.”

Donating blood and plasma is absolutely safe. If you or someone you know has tested positive for COVID-19 and has recovered, visit crbs.net or contact 1-800-24-BLOOD for more information on how to donate.

About Cascade Regional Blood Services
Cascade Regional Blood Services is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 independent blood center serving community hospitals and clinics in Western Washington since 1946. CRBS provides blood products, therapeutic apheresis services, and support to pharmaceutical partners. With a dedicated volunteer donor base, CRBS conducts over 1,000 blood drives a year and has three donor center locations, including a laboratory in their Tacoma headquarters.  For more than 25 years, research companies have looked to CRBS to support their individual and IRB endeavors through recruitment and specialized collections.  For more information, visit https://www.crbs.net/.

Media Assets
Photo of donor, Alissa: https://www.crbs.net/crbs_ccp_alissa/
Cascade Regional Blood Services logo: https://www.crbs.net/crbs-logo/