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American Red Cross blood donors have new opportunity to help patients fighting COVID-19

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

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

Donors needed this fall to maintain blood supply amid ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic. (Jason Miczek/American Red Cross)
Donors needed this fall to maintain blood supply amid ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic. (Jason Miczek/American Red Cross)

In April, the Red Cross began collecting COVID-19 Coronavirus 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 Coronavirus antibodies that may help the most critical patients actively fighting this 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 Coronavirus 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 United States 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,” Goodhue stated.

The Red Cross encourages eligible individuals to schedule an appointment, download the free Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1.800.RED CROSS (1.800.733.2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

In thanks, the Red Cross is offering a $1,000 Amazon.com Gift Card to five lucky winners who come to give in October. Terms and conditions apply; visit rcblood.org/unite.

About antibody testing

Antibody testing may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual experienced COVID-19 Coronavirus symptoms. Donations are tested using samples pulled at the time of donation and sent to a testing laboratory where they will also undergo routine infectious disease testing.

COVID-19 Coronavirus antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test.

 


Important COVID-19 information for donors

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance.

Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.  

Upcoming blood donation opportunities, Oct.1-15:

Elkton Baptist Church
301 East Main Street
Elkton, KY 42220

10/2/2020: 12:00pm-6:00pm.

 

St Stephen Catholic Church
1698 Canton Road
Cadiz, KY 42211

10/6/2020: 11:00am-5:00pm.

 

Burns Church of Christ
2718 Church Street
Burns, TN 37029

10/7/2020: 3:00pm-7:00pm.

 


 

YMCA Dickson
225 Henslee Drive
Dickson, TN 37055

10/15/2020: 12:00pm-6:00pm.

 

American Red Cross
1760 Madison Street
Clarksville, TN 37043

10/5/2020: 10:30am-4:30pm.

10/7/2020: 10:30am-4:30pm.

10/12/2020: 10:30am-4:30pm.

10/14/2020: 10:30am-4:30pm.

 

APSU Morgan University Center
601 College Street
Clarksville, TN   37044

10/6/2020: 8:00am-1:00pm.

 

Governor’s Square Mall
2801 Wilma Rudolph Boulevard
Clarksville, TN 37040

10/14/2020: 12:00pm-6:00pm.

About Blood Donation

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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