MISSOULA — The American Red Cross is beginning to test all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies.
There also continues to be an urgent need for blood donations as hospitals resume surgeries and treatments that require blood products.
Antibody testing will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, 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.
The test has been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“As an organization dedicated to helping others, the Red Cross is pleased to provide more information about COVID-19 to our valued donors,” said Dr. Erin Goodhue, executive medical director of direct patient care with the Red Cross Biomedical Services.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test.
Donation appointments can be made by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.