TORRANCE (CBSLA) — A plasma donor is needed to help a veteran Torrance firefighter recovering from COVID-19.

“Time is of the essence for our affected member and really for those sitting in hospital beds in vulnerable situations,” said Torrance Fire Department Asst. Chief Carl Besanceney.

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In a Facebook post, the Torrance Fire Department made a public plea for a plasma donation to help an engineer, whose family asked for privacy, who is recovering from COVID-19.

“Specifically, he needs plasma donated from a fully recovered COVID patient so their antibodies may help boost his ability to fight back,” the department said in the Facebook post.

Plasma from once-infected patients contains antibodies that helped their immune system attack the virus when they were sick. Once recovered, their plasma may then be able to help others, like the firefighter, fight off the disease.

The plasma is being used to treat patients with serious or life-threatening infections.

“His wife did an outreach yesterday afternoon to us and said they had gone through a number of plasma donors that didn’t match what was needed,” said Besanceney.

The firefighter’s department said ever since the message got out, they’ve been getting a huge response from people who want to help. So they decided to redirect and broaden their outreach.

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“We’re trying to get help for our Torrance Fire family but more importantly, for the patients across the board,” Besanceney said.

“We’re trying to streamline the process for doctors, nurses and medical facilities staff to be able to grab that information and do a match quicker.”

The Torrance Fire Department is now working with the American Red Cross to find people who can donate their plasma.

Besanceney hopes the public will do what they can to help their firefighter and so many others beat COVID-19.

“We really need this outreach for everyone across the nation to be able to benefit from them,” he said.

The donor must meet several criteria:

To qualify, the donor must have tested positive for COVID-19 and already been recovered with symptoms resolved at least 28 days prior to the donation or 14 days prior to donation with a second negative COVID test. The donor should be male, or a female who has never been pregnant or who has been tested since their most recent pregnancy and results interpreted as negative for HLA antibodies.

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Anyone who fits the criteria may contact Dr. Marc Cohen at emsdoc911@hotmail.com or visit the American Red Cross website.