BY OLIVIA CAMERON- The next time you see a Big Red Bus around, you may want to set an appointment and take a seat. OneBlood is currently testing all blood donations for COVID-19.
Those who donate blood to OneBlood will be tested for the virus once blood is drawn. Authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, the antibody test will provide results regarding the body’s response to COVID-19. If a person has come into contact with the virus, the immune system will have produced antibodies to protect the body, which will be detected on the antibody test. This means the test will show an accurate result, regardless of whether or not donors are asymptomatic.
This does not measure an active coronavirus infection, but the body’s response to one.
Donations are by appointment only. As a precaution, all blood donors are required to wear masks to their appointments. OneBlood has advised donors to postpone if they are feeling ill.
According to the OneBlood organization, test results will be accessible 48-96 hours after donation. The results will be available on the donor portal provided during registration with the phlebotomist.
OneBlood’s website states, “A positive COVID-19 antibody test does not mean you are immune from COVID-19. A positive test result indicates that the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to fight the coronavirus.”
It is also made clear that the antibodies themselves are not a harmful component.
Since these antibodies are plausible lifesavers, it is not bad if a donation with present antibodies is given to a patient receiving the transfusion. These donations are said to likely become a donation of convalescent plasma, which could be a possible treatment for those suffering acute coronavirus cases.
OneBlood would like donors to know the blood donation process will be safe. Phlebotomists are required to wear masks and gloves. The locations will be sterilized, and donors will have a temperature test at the donation site. Donors must practice social distancing from others at donation centers. The mobile locations will keep visitation limited.
OneBlood will test for antibodies without plans to stop in the immediate future.
For more information or to find a donation location, visit oneblood.org.