The American Red Cross will test all blood, platelets, and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies, for a limited time, the organization announced.
And to reward donors in March, the organization will dole out $10 e-gift cards to Fanatics, and each donor will be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip for two to the 2022 MLB All-Star Game in Los Angeles. The package will include two tickets to All-Star Saturday, the Home Run Deby, and the All-Star Game, round-trip airfare, a four-night hotel stay, and a $750 gift card for expenses.
Details are available at rcblood.org/team.
Plasma from routine donations that have high levels of COVID-19 antibodies may be used as convalescent plasma to help meet the needs of COVID-19 patients with weakened immune systems.
The Red Cross first tested donations for COVID-19 antibodies earlier in the pandemic to provide convalescent plasma for patients. When infection rates decreased and new treatment options became available, the Red Cross discontinued the program. 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. The Red Cross is resuming this program to ensure doctors have every tool available to support treatment.
Antibody testing will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus following vaccination or infection, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Donations will be tested using samples pulled at the time of donation and sent to a testing laboratory where they will also undergo routine infectious disease testing. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity.
COVID-19 antibody test results will be available 1-2 weeks after donation in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent were allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.
To make an appointment, use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
Nearby upcoming blood donation opportunities include:
3/16/2022: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Moody Family YMCA, 6000 Preston Road
3/21/2022: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy
3/22/2022: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, 9200 Inwood Road
3/22/2022: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., The Branch Church, 3035 Valley View Lane
3/29/2022: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Omni Dallas Hotel, 555 S. Lamar Street