Breckenridge Texan

Blood drive donations are now tested for COVID-19 antibodies, used in treatment

Blood drive donations are now tested for COVID-19 antibodies, used in treatment
August 06
17:59 2020

There was something new at this year’s local Battle of the Badges Blood Drive, all blood donations were tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Some medical studies have shown that convalescent plasma donation containing the antibodies, along with regular treatment, is cutting the death rate of COVID-19 patients.

Speaking during a program honoring the winner of this year’s Battle of the Badges Blood Drive at the Breckenridge Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, Colleen Horan, a consultant with Carter BloodCare, said all the donations made during this year’s Battle of the Badges Blood Drive were tested for COVID-19 antibodies.

In fact, she said, all blood donations made to Carter BloodCare anywhere are currently tested for COVID-19 antibodies and have been since June. Once someone discovers they have the antibodies, they can then make a convalescent plasma donation to Carter BloodCare.

Convalescent plasma donations

The convalescent plasma is given, along with other treatments, to people who are currently fighting COVID-19. She said she recently heard about a study from one of her directors that showed regular treatment along with a convalescent plasma donation is cutting the death rate from 25 percent to 13 percent.

“So it does seem to be working to help people, so we need people that are recovered that have the antibodies to make this donation,” Horan said. “Carter BloodCare is running about 100 units back-ordered every day to supply the DFW area hospitals with a supply to provide patients.”

Horan said the results for the antibodies test taken during a blood drive donation takes about two weeks. She said that, after making a donation, the donor can log onto the Carter BloodCare website in about two weeks and check their results, which will be either positive or negative.

Carter BloodCare just started testing for the antibodies in June, she said and it takes about two weeks for the results to come in, so they don’t have a lot of results yet. However, she said the percent of blood donations that contain the antibodies started out at 1 percent then went up to 2 percent and will probably continue to grow as more people recover and more people donate blood to find out if they have the antibodies.

How to make a plasma donation

The convalescent plasma donation is an automation donation, according to Horan, which means they just take the plasma out of the blood and then return the donor’s red cells and platelets.

If somebody knows they have the antibodies, the best way to make a plasma donation is to log on to the Carter BloodCare website, and on the homepage there is information about making a donation.

If someone has recovered from COVID-19 and has not made a blood donation to be tested and wants to make a plasma donation, Horan said they will be required to provide documentation that they did have COVID-19 and have recovered.

The convalescent plasma donation is a special kind of donation, Horan said, and Carter BloodCare does not take those kind of donations at the mobile drives. The donor will need to make an appointment to make the donation at Carter BloodCare facility, she said.

“This seems to be a very promising treatment,” she said. “President Trump and the Surgeon General just held a round-table discussion with a lot of doctors and scientists that are talking about this treatment as being very promising.”

 

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, Top photo: Colleen Horan speaks to members of the Breckenridge Rotary Club during a program honoring the winners of this year’s Battle of Badges Blood Drive campaign on Tuesday, Aug. 4. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 


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