Back to Top Skip to main content

Madigan collects CCP in fight against COVID-19

Four people in a hospital room wearing masks Frank Wake, left, works with COVID-19 survivor, Karen Conley, to draw convalescent plasma through a process called plasmapheresis. Apheresis nurse Steve Christodoulou, right, explains the process to Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery as he visits the Armed Services Blood Bank Center - Pacific Northwest at Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma Washington.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

The COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (CCP) Collection Program is a Department of Defense effort to obtain 10,000 units CCP with emphasis on blood donations by members of the military community who have recovered from the disease. CCP will be given to critically ill patients, and to support the development of an effective treatment against the disease. Potential donors should visit the Armed Services Blood Program website at: - to find a complete list of available collection centers.

The world is searching for a treatment, a cure and a prevention for COVID-19. One piece of that puzzle may be tapped via the sap of human life – blood. At Madigan Army Medical Center, and 19 other Department of Defense facilities, those who have recovered from COVID-19 can donate the liquid part of their blood – the plasma – in an effort to apply it to use as a treatment for those battling the disease now.

Health Affairs Thomas McCaffery made a special stop at the Armed Services Blood Bank Center - Pacific Northwest (ASBBC-PNW) to talk to the staff about convalescent plasma and the DoD’s effort to collect 10,000 units by Sept. 30.

“We are doing this across the DoD, across the Military Health System,” said McCaffery. “This is an all-in effort, we are counting down to the end of September to get those ten thousand units.”

Army Maj. Juan Guzman, the chief of the ASBBC-PNW, toured McCaffery through the center’s operations; which was started with Navy Hospitalman Edward Yelland, a lab technician, taking McCaffery’s forehead temperature before the Assistant Secretary entered the center.

Army Capt. Zachary Albright, the center’s officer-in-charge, had the center’s impressive blood product collection numbers at the ready and offered an overview of operations before Army Maj. (Dr.) Benjamin Cook, the medical director for Transfusion Services, gave McCaffery a blast of chilly air from the center’s deep freezers.

According to the National Institutes of Health, in order to retain viability, plasma must be frozen at subzero temperatures.

After a look at the processing area and an introduction to the tri-service staff, McCaffery was shown the apheresis room where he was able to see Steve Christodoulou, an apheresis nurse, and Frank Wake, a phlebotomist, attending to a COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor.

Within that plasma reside antibodies – proteins that the immune system produces in response to infection.

Convalescent plasma has been used for nearly a century to transfer antibodies from a recovered person to help protect another from an infection. In that time, there has been some evidence that there has been benefit against rabies, hepatitis B, polio, measles, influenza, Ebola and other pathogens. Small case studies have also shown that during previous coronavirus outbreaks of Middle East respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome, known as MERS and SARS, respectively, the use of convalescent plasma was both safe and helpful in clearing the virus faster.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by the virus known as SARS-CoV2, which is a coronavirus.

“It is important for people to donate,” said Guzman. “It’s helping lives.”

Beyond speeding the clearance of the virus, McCaffery also sees expanded possibilities in the plasma’s use.

“We believe there is potential for this plasma to ultimately be converted into another treatment that can be used as a preventive measure, or be used for somebody who has been exposed to COVID and can get this as treatment to prevent the further development of the virus,” McCaffery said.

Many people may be familiar with typical blood donation. The apheresis process takes longer, roughly 45 minutes, but is no more complicated for the donor. The center has lounge chairs, reading material, televisions and movies and no shortage of snacks. The staff ensures that it has all the favorites of regular donors on hand to make them as comfortable as possible.

“People can donate several ways – through apheresis or through whole blood,” said Guzman. “People can offer their blood, their life-saving product and help out people in need.”

To learn more about the Military Health System’s Convalescent Plasma Collection Program, visit For more info on donating, visit

You also may be interested in...

MHS Transformation results continue during COVID-19

Military personnel in a supply room, reaching for the top shelf

The MTF transition has enabled the DHA and the Services to increase standardization, eliminate duplicative contracts, and realize cost efficiencies by beginning the management of an enterprise-wide program.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | MHS Transformation

DOD recommends adults 75 and older should seek COVID-19 vaccine

Nursing home members, wearing masks, wait in a line to get their COVID vaccine

This age recommendation differs slightly from that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends vaccinations for those 65 and older.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Is It Your Time to Get the Vaccine? | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine for Adults Age 75 and Older

LTG Place Vaccine Roll-Out Video

DHA Seal

DHA Director LTG Ron Place talks about coronavirus vaccines, their safety and efficacy, and encourages everyone to do their own research to get vaccinated.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Partnerships, COVID-19 are catalysts for enterprise virtual health

Image of Mr. Adler with text: "Partnerships, COVID-19 are catalysts for enterprise virtual health."

Jamie Adler, the lead for the DHA’s Virtual Health Clinical Integration Office, discusses the future of virtual health (VH).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Connected Health

COVID-19 hinders blood donations during National Blood Donor Month

Navy Capt. R. Wade Blizzard, commanding officer of U.S. Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia, donates blood for the Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Units Diego Garcia walking blood bank on Dec. 17, 2020. The walking blood bank is a list of eligible donors who can provide blood in case of emergency. (U.S. Navy photo by Navy Seaman Apprentice Stevin Atkins)

Life-saving blood is in high-demand by the Armed Services Blood Program, as the COVID-19 has negatively impacted donations.

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Public Health | Coronavirus | Holiday Observances

COVID presents new set of challenges for DOD environmental health

Group of Marines, snowshoeing through the snow

One of the most important factors to take into account when maintaining one’s overall fitness is physical environment.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness in a Pandemic | Reintroducing Total Force Fitness | January Toolkit | Coronavirus | Total Force Fitness

DOD Launches “My MilLife Guide” Text Message Program to Boost Wellness

The new My MilLife Guide program supports the wellness of the military community.

DoD has launched My MilLife Guide, a new program that sends text messages designed to help the military community boost overall wellness while navigating stresses related to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Operation Live Well | Health Readiness

Navy corpsman provides multitude of support to hospital

Two military personnel, wearing masks, in a supply room looking at the shelves

“Thinking outside the box is what makes a great person, let alone a Sailor," Tie said.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus

MTF facilities, markets set to resume transition heading into 2021

A military nurse, wearing a mask, prepares a needle for a vaccination

Butler says transition on track.

Recommended Content:

MHS Transformation | Coronavirus

BACH healthcare workers and first responders vaccinated for COVID-19

Soldier gives a nurse a vaccine in her left arm

BACH now joins other Defense Health Agency military treatment facilities that have received the vaccine, marking the start of a phased-in vaccination program to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | COVID-19 Toolkit

Countering seasonal depression during the COVID-19 pandemic

Man with his head in his hands, sitting in front of a Christmas tree

SAD, or sometimes called seasonal depression, is a subtype of a major depressive disorder.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Mental Wellness | Mental Health Care | Depression | Suicide Prevention

MHS operational innovations continue in battle against COVID-19

Two medical personnel, wearing full PPE, in an operating room

MHS innovations in 2020 include a new registry for real-time COVID-19 data and a system to free up hospital beds and protect patients from the disease.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Research and Innovation | Innovation | Technology

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit


This toolkit provides communicators across the Military Health System (MHS) with important information about the COVID-19 prevention and vaccination from the CDC to share with patients and health care professionals.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Toolkit | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

COVID-19 Social Media Toolkit


These messages are provided for you to use on your platforms with any of the images from the COVID-19 Toolkit.

Recommended Content:


Remote monitoring program enables COVID-19 patients to recover at home

Two medical personnel, wearing masks, looking at the contents of a home-based COVID treatment kit

The program equips COVID-19 patients needing additional monitoring with a home healthcare kit and 24/7 oversight from registered nurses to ensure a higher level of post-hospital care.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | Innovation
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 24

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.