SunCoast Blood Centers has First Convalescent Plasma Donor

Bradenton, FL – Today Dr. Maria Finazzo was the first recovered COVID-19 patient to donate convalescent plasma at SunCoast Blood Centers. Convalescent plasma can be transfused to people with life-threatening coronavirus infection. The antibodies present in convalescent plasma are proteins that may help critically ill patients fight the COVID-19 infection. Transfusing the convalescent plasma that contains the antibodies into a person still fighting the virus can provide a boost to the patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover. Early indications are promising for this to be and effective treatment in the most critical cases of COVID-19 infections.

Dr. Finazzo, a local physician believes that she and her husband, also a physician contracted the disease on a flight to or from Denver in early March. Dr. Finazzo described her case as mild to moderate. She urges people to heed the directive to shelter in place to flatten the curve. “I’m very concerned for our healthcare workers on the front lines. We as a community must do all that we can to prevent the spread of this virus,” Finazzo stated.

As the only nonprofit blood center serving the community, SunCoast has the technology necessary to collect, test and process convalescent plasma. All donations will stay in the community to treat patients in local hospitals. Potential donors can contact SunCoast for more information and must schedule an appointment by calling 941-993-8119 (Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or emailing

Potential donors need to meet all the usual screening criteria for blood donation, plus pass additional FDA criteria, including:

  • Have a prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test or doctor’s note
  • Must be completely symptom free for the last 14 to 28 days
  • Meet current blood donation protocols
  • Must schedule an appointment

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About SunCoast Blood Centers - A registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, SunCoast Blood Centers has provided a reliable supply of safe blood products and services for our community since 1949.  SunCoast is the exclusive supplier of blood products and services for Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, Complex Care Hospital of Ridgelake, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota, North Port Emergency Room, Fawcett Memorial Hospital of Port Charlotte, Englewood Community Hospital and DeSoto Memorial Hospital. SunCoast also partners with Moffitt Cancer Center to provide blood products including pathogen reduced platelets.  Recognized for its outstanding service, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce honored SunCoast as the 2017 Non-profit of the Year.  SunCoast participates in cancer treatment programs, research and provides therapeutic services at the hospitals it serves. For donor locations and more information, visit or call 1-866-97-BLOOD.

SunCoast Blood Centers Locations

Lakewood Ranch
Donor Center and Administrative Offices
3025 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard Unit 111
Bradenton, Florida 34211

1760 Mound Street
Sarasota, Florida 34236

Bayshore Shopping Center
6026 14th Street W.
Bradenton, FL 34207

Bird Bay Plaza
539 US Hwy 41 Bypass
North Venice, FL 34285

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