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DoD trains staff to collect convalescent plasma donations

A service member donates convalescent plasma at a blood donation center. A new training for military medical treatment facility clinical and administrative staff has been designed to support the COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Collection Program, a Department of Defense effort to collect 10,000 units of blood donated by members of the military community who have recovered from the disease. (Photo by Senior Airman Kyle Cope, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

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A new training for military medical treatment facility (MTF) clinical and administrative staff has been designed to support the collection of COVID-19 convalescent blood plasma from eligible beneficiaries.

The COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Collection Program (CCP) is a Department of Defense effort to collect more than 8,000 units of blood donated by members of the military community who have recovered from the disease. Building the widest possible awareness of the CCP in the DoD patient population will help DoD accomplish this ambitious goal.

“The purpose of the training is to help all clinical and administrative MTF personnel educate patients about the program,” said Anita Lyons, acting chief, MTF Operations, Defense Health Agency Education and Training Directorate. “We need our staff to tell patients who are convalescing from COVID-19 about the opportunity to be donors.”

The DHA Education and Training Directorate, or J7, developed the training in coordination with the Armed Services Blood Program and other divisions within the DHA. Lyons notes that the training was a high priority to support the goal of CCP donor collections.

“With a Department of Defense goal to have over 8,000 donated units by Sept. 30, it is critical to get MTF staff trained quickly,” said Lyons. “We want all MTF staff to be able to speak knowledgably with patients about donating and point them toward further resources.”

The CCP training course includes a script for all clinical and administrative employees at MTFs to inform patients, and an ASBP fact sheet they can share with patients. The training aids provide clear, accurate, and standardized messaging.

“With such a broad audience, we had to make sure that it was accessible for everyone,” said Lyons. “We want everyone in the MTF who comes in contact with patients—from physicians to front desk staff—to help promote the CCP and identify potential donors.”

All MTF clinical and administrative staff must complete the course within 30 days of its assignment in their MTF training modules. MTF staff who need to take the training should log in to their Relias learning management system and look for course CCP001.

“The CCP training empowers the clinical team and administrative staff to engage COVID-19 positive patients and inform them of the opportunity to donate plasma in support of the CCP Program,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. Anita Fligge, chief, DHA Education and Training Directorate. “Every patient contact can lead to eligible patients donating their plasma to help others who are acutely ill with COVID-19, now or in the future.”

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