He only experienced mild symptoms of COVID-19 -- but now Miramar Police Major James Dunkelberger is hoping to help others who aren’t as lucky.
“There was no second thought about it. I knew it was something I wanted to do,” said the 23-year department veteran.
Dunkelberger, who is A positive, donated not once, but twice after waiting the required 28 days to donate again.
“I was fortunate enough to experience mild, flu-like symptoms and recover rather quickly from the virus, and after my quarantine period and testing double negative during the retest, it was just timing that I went to the supermarket and saw one of these One Blood busses in the parking lot,” Dunkelberger said.
Soon after he registered the first time, the major learned a fellow law enforcement officer’s hospitalized relative needed plasma.
“That person had the same blood type as me, so when I registered here, I was able to give that person’s information to provide the donation," Dunkelberger said.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday it is not yet approving convalescent plasma treatment for emergency authorization, in part because of the lack of data. But so far, the Mayo Clinic measured the efficacy of the treatment on hospitalized patients in their nationwide program. Their research shows from April to July, convalescent plasma was associated with the reduced mortality rate of 35,000 patients of which 53% percent were in the ICU and 27.5% were on ventilators.
“If you’ve had COVID-19 and recovered from it, and you decide to make that personal choice to become a donor, I would encourage you to," Dunkelberger said. "Your donation of convalescent plasma could very well save a life of someone in our community."
To donate plasma you can go to the American Association of Blood Banks website to find an accredited donation site near you.