Katie Potter, Red Cross External Communications Manager said, “As a humanitarian organization, we are focused on our mission of helping others in any way possible. So, certainly, people have a heightened interest, at the simplest level in this information and knowing if they could have been exposed to COVID-19” According to the Red Cross, they began collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma from those already diagnosed with COVID in April. Previously, convalescent plasma collection was limited to about 170 Red Cross donor centers across the United States, and that’s because a specialized process is used to obtain this type of plasma. 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. Now, whole blood donations made at any Red Cross blood drive or blood donation center in the country are taking part. Each time a donation of blood or plasma is made, the humanitarian group tests it for COVID antibodies. Dr. Erin Goodhue, executive medical director of direct patient care with the Red Cross Biomedical Services said, “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. Antibody testing may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual experienced 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. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — The Red Cross is joining in the fight against coronavirus by testing blood and plasma for COVID-19 antibodies. The group also said the secondary testing is what allowed them to expand the process to all blood drives. If the donor gave plasma and tests positive for the antibodies, the plasma is then used only for patients fighting the virus. The Red Cross says it’s a win-win for everyone involved. Convalescent plasma contains COVID-19 antibodies that may be useful in helping critical patients fight the virus. The Red Cross said test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. The group also reminds donors that a positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity, and these tests are not to diagnose illnesses of the coronavirus.
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