Blood Assurance introduced Monday morning that it’ll resume voluntary COVID-19 antibody testing and the gathering of convalescent plasma in an effort to assist these combating the virus.
The observe, which has since returned to the community of assortment facilities, has been been reinstated because of the latest surge in COVID-19 circumstances. Blood Assurance beforehand ended the observe in April.
The group is restarting this system because it continues to maintain hospitals and medical facilities outfitted with a gradual provide of blood regardless of a dip in donations in latest months.
Extra:‘Helps save lives:’ Blood Assurance encourages donations as virus surge fuels scarcity
“Blood Assurance believes it is very important provide COVID-19 antibody testing to neighborhood blood donors,” Dr. Liz Culler, the chief medical director of Blood Assurance, mentioned in a press launch. “Donors who’ve antibodies to COVID-19 and who’re eligible to donate plasma can doubtlessly save the lives of sufferers who’re overwhelming our hospitals.”
Convalescent plasma remedy is an investigative remedy authorized by the Meals and Drug Administration the place plasma is transfused from a recovered COVID-19 donor right into a critically sick affected person.
The plasma from recovered people incorporates antibodies that might proceed to assault the virus in one other suitable affected person.
The donated blood, beforehand uncovered to the virus, incorporates proteins which assist to actively combat off the virus, whereas stopping or slowing down additional unfold.
The nonprofit group, which serves well being care amenities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina with a provide of donated blood, platelets and plasma, mentioned it is going to be the one blood heart within the area performing the very important companies.
In Columbia, medical doctors at Maury Regional Medical Heart mentioned the hospital’s intensive care unit is full as a brand new wave of hospitalizations as a consequence of variants of COVID-19. The overwhelming majority of latest sufferers are unvaccinated towards the virus.
On Friday, Maury Regional’s Dr. Brett Norman, a pulmonary and demanding care specialist, mentioned open beds in intensive care models are scarce in Tennessee.
Extra:‘One of the best ways to present us a break’: Maury Regional physician on vaccinations
Extra:Entry in jeopardy: Hospitals encourage vaccination as beds replenish
People donating blood, whether or not on a bloodmobile or at a facility, may have the choice to be examined for the antibodies. If antibodies are found, the donor can be notified inside two weeks, paving the best way for a voluntary convalescent plasma donation to assist these battling the virus.
The experimental remedy might present passive immunity for sure COVID-19 sufferers.
The antibody take a look at being provided by Blood Assurance solely identifies donors who make antibodies in response to having the COVID-19 an infection inside the previous a number of months. It doesn’t detect antibodies made in response to the vaccine, the group mentioned.
The right way to donate with Blood Assurance
Blood Assurance acknowledged that’s the sole provider of blood and blood merchandise, similar to plasma, to greater than 70 medical amenities all through the area, together with Columbia’s Maury Regional Medical Heart.
Blood Assurance has 11 mounted areas and 13 bloodmobiles in operation throughout 5 states within the Southeast U.S.
It was based in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Space Hospital Council and the Chattanooga Jaycees, also referred to as the Junior Chamber of Commerce.
Blood Assurance is processing every pattern and sending the donated plasma to hospitals the place it is going to be administered to sufferers in want.
Blood Assurance additionally emphasised that the FDA explicitly permits donors who’ve obtained a certified COVID-19 vaccine to donate blood, offered they’re wholesome and meet all eligibility standards for blood donation.
Donors can schedule an appointment on-line at bloodassurance.org/schedule, or by calling 800-962-0628, or by texting BAGIVE to 999777. Stroll-ins can be accepted.
Columbia’s Blood Assurance heart is positioned at 1412 Trotwood Ave Suite 69.
To be eligible to donate blood, you have to be not less than 17 years previous (16 years previous with parental consent), weigh 110 kilos or extra and be in good well being. Donors are requested to drink loads of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that’s wealthy in iron previous to donating.
Blood collected by Blood Assurance is totally examined and processed at its operations heart in Chattanooga earlier than it’s distributed to taking part hospitals and medical facilities.
Columbia is dwelling to certainly one of Blood Assurance’s 12 mounted areas and 16 bloodmobiles that assist accumulate blood and plasma wanted to deal with sufferers within the area’s hospitals and medical facilities.
To encourage individuals to donate lifesaving blood, platelets, plasma and double pink cells, those who donate can be entered to win prizes together with a utility terrain autos and reward playing cards to widespread shops. Blood Assurance is gifting away a $100 Goal reward card each day till Aug. 31 to 1 bloodmobile donor and one particular person who donates at any Blood Assurance’s brick-and-mortar amenities.
Attain Mike Christen at [email protected] Comply with him on Twitter at @MikeChristenCDH and on Instagram @michaelmarco. Please contemplate supporting his work and that of different Every day Herald journalists by subscribing to the publication.