MILWAUKEE — The American Red Cross will once again test all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. Plasma from donations that have antibodies can be used as a form of treatment for COVID-19 patients.
The Red Cross shared the news Thursday saying blood supply still remains very vulnerable. They had tested all blood donations for antibodies early in the pandemic but when infection rates went down, they stopped.
Now they are bringing it back for a limited time. In a news release, the Red Cross said "with the surge of new variants, hospitals began to seek out more treatments for their most vulnerable patients, and new clinical trial data has shown that convalescent plasma may benefit immunocompromised patients."
They are restarting the program to ensure doctors have every tool at their disposal to help patients fight COVID.
Anyone who donates blood to the Red Cross right now can expect antibody results in 1-2 weeks after donation. The Red Cross em,emphasized though, that those results should not be used as a COVID-19 test. Having antibodies does not confirm infection or immunity.
If you'd like to make an appointment for donation/antibody testing, click here.