Kentucky Blood Center announced today that in an effort to recruit donors for convalescent plasma donation, donations made at KBC donor centers now through October 3 will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.
“Testing for antibodies will help us identify donors who have COVID-19 antibodies present, whether they were symptomatic or not,” said Bill Reed, CEO of Kentucky Blood Center. “Identifying donors with the antibodies will help us build our supply of convalescent plasma and will allow Kentucky hospitals the ability to treat COVID-19 patients for many months to come.”
While COVID-19 currently has no proven treatment, it is possible that convalescent plasma, a component of blood from patients who have recovered from COVID-19, may provide antibodies to fight the virus. Individuals who have had a positive COVID-19 diagnostic test or test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be eligible to donate 14-28 days after complete resolution of their symptoms.
On March 19, Kentucky Blood Center was the first community blood center to collect convalescent plasma from a recovered patient for transfusion to a critically ill COVID-19 patient. Since that time, nearly 200 donors have provided this potentially life-saving donation through KBC to more than 70 hospitals throughout the Commonwealth.
“Blood products donated at KBC are used to treat Kentucky patients battling all kinds of circumstances,” said Mandy Brajuha, Vice President for External Relations. “By donating at one of our donor centers during this time period, people can immediately impact the lives of their neighbors through that initial donation and if they prove to have COVID-19 antibodies, they can potentially help yet again by donating convalescent plasma.”
Kentucky Blood Center supplies blood and blood products to 70+ hospitals in the Kentucky area.
If you have already been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have fully recovered, and are interested in possibly being contacted about the CCP program, please visit https://kybloodcenter.org/convalescent-plasma-donation/ and join the registry. A KBC staff member will contact you regarding your possible CCP donation.
Antibody Testing Specifics
Successful blood, platelet and double red blood cell donations made at KBC’s six donor centers from September 14-October 3 will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Appointments are required and donors should wear a face covering and be feeling healthy at the time of donation. (If you are actively awaiting COVID-19 test results, you are not eligible to donate.)
The test is NOT a diagnostic test for COVID-19 diagnosis and those who believe they may have been exposed to the disease should seek diagnostic testing. Locations for this can be accessed by visiting https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19.
For more information on the antibody testing, please visit www.kybloodcenter.org/event/covid-19-antibody-testing