OBI Offering Free COVID-19 Antibody Testing For Blood Donors

Friday, June 5th 2020, 4:10 pm

The Oklahoma Blood Institute is now offering free COVID-19 antibody testing for all donors.

Currently, OBI said it is 40,000 blood donations behind, which is about a month's worth of supply.

OBI has added free antibody testing as an incentive to donate your blood.

Oklahoma Blood Institute CEO Dr. John Armitage said free antibody testing is not only helpful for a blood donor to know, but also extremely helpful for COVID-19 patients and the future of health care.

"Antibody testing is a way to take a quick snapshot of your immune system and see if you've got the protein that attacks the virus,” Armitage said.

Armitage said they are also tallying up the data and giving it to the state to help understand the virus and its spread.

"It's a flag to say you've seen the virus and you're going to be able to fight it off,” Armitage said.

Most importantly, these antibodies help a sick patient fight off COVID-19 through a transfusion.

"One donors blood bag can be used to help one patient,” Armitage said.

Armitage said the next step for fighting off COVID-19 until a vaccine gets here is creating a super dose shot with the concentration of antibody proteins.

"Instead of getting one bag from one donor, you get the equivalent of sixteen bags in one shot," he said.

A super dose shot is extremely helpful for high exposure health care workers and sick patients.

Armitage said if you are interested in giving blood, it's best to make an appointment here.