Some blood donations could help COVID patients

  • Saturday, October 3, 2020 1:30am
  • News

Plasma from whole blood donations made through the American Red Cross that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions.

Donors are encouraged to make an appointment to give blood to help ensure coronavirus patients and others who depend on transfusions have needed blood this fall.

In April, the Red Cross began collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma from previously diagnosed individuals, who could only give at one of approximately 170 Red Cross blood donation centers across the country. Convalescent plasma contains COVID-19 antibodies that may help the most critical patients actively fighting the virus.

Now, whole blood donations made at any Red Cross blood drive or blood donation center could be helpful in this effort.

“Donations that come back positive for COVID-19 antibodies now undergo secondary testing to confirm antibody results, and that enables the Red Cross to then potentially use the plasma from those donations for COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Erin Goodhue, executive medical director of direct patient care with the Red Cross Biomedical Services.

“With approximately 2% of the U.S. population testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies, every donation is important to ensure patients with coronavirus have access to every treatment option available to them.”

The Red Cross encourages eligible individuals to schedule an appointment, download the free Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

In thanks, the Red Cross is offering a $1,000 Amazon.com Gift Card to five winners who come to give in October. Visit rcblood.org/unite.

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