American Red Cross testing donated blood for coronavirus antibodies
PHOENIX — Donating blood can save a life, and now it can also reveal whether or not a patient has been exposed to the coronavirus.
The American Red Cross is testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies, providing donors insight into their medical history.
There also remains an urgent need for blood donations as hospitals resume surgeries and treatments.
“It should be an opportunity for donors to recognize that there’s an additional thing they can receive,” Colin Williams of the Red Cross told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.
“Of course, we know blood donations save lives – but it’s also nice having the personal information knowing your body does or does not have the antibodies present.”
Samples taken at the time of donation are sent to a testing laboratory where they undergo routine infectious disease testing. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity.
Test results will be available within 7-10 days in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. The test has been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test.
Due to concerns over spreading the coronavirus, anyone feeling ill or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should postpone their donation.
Those interested in donating can make an appointment online or by calling (800) 733-2767.