By: Sharon Aron Baron
Here’s one good reason to give blood: by donating to OneBlood, donors will find out if they have the coronavirus antibody.
OneBlood, a not-for-profit blood center serving Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama, is now testing all donations for the COVID-19 antibody.
The antibody test is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration and will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms.
Donors will be able to see their results approximately 48 hours after donating by logging into their donor portal at oneblood.org.
“The testing brings many benefits. In addition to donors learning if they have the antibody, OneBlood will be identifying additional people who can be COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors”, said Susan Forbes, OneBlood’s senior vice president of corporate communications and public relations.
Convalescent plasma donors have a special ability to help critically ill coronavirus patients. By transfusing plasma that is rich with coronavirus antibodies into a patient still fighting the virus, it can help boost the patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover.
With no cure or vaccine to prevent coronavirus, doctors are turning to convalescent plasma to help treat their critically ill coronavirus patients. OneBlood began collecting and distributing COVID-19 convalescent plasma in April.
OneBlood’s COVID-19 antibody testing will also provide crucial statistical information to public health officials.
“OneBlood is working closely with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees M.D., to provide de-identified data on the number of people testing positive and the geographical location,” said Forbes. “This information will help in decision making for reopening the economy.”
OneBlood is one of the first blood centers to begin testing for the coronavirus antibody and plans to provide the antibody testing for the foreseeable future.
COVID-19 antibody testing will be performed in addition to the standard infectious disease testing all blood donations received. Testing takes place at OneBlood’s laboratory, Creative Testing Solutions (CTS).
Due to social distancing measures that OneBlood has in place, all donors are required to make an appointment to donate. Appointments can be made online at www.oneblood.org or by calling 1-888-9DONATE.
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