OBI, American Red Cross Use Blood Drives To Boost Antibody Testing

Monday, June 22nd 2020, 4:40 pm

With the recent spike of COVID-19 throughout Oklahoma, state officials have seen an increase in blood donations. 

The Oklahoma Blood Institute, as well as the American Red Cross, said they've held hundreds of blood drives within the last month with a major focus being on antibody testing.

They say this surge in donors not only helps inform patients if they've had the virus, but also supports the urgent need for blood.

The OBI said they've seen an increase in donors over the last few weeks.

One part of this increase comes from more antibody testing, which indicates if a donor's immune system has produced antibodies to the virus. According to the OBI, since Memorial Day weekend, they've tested about 20,000 people and have seen 1,300 come back positive. They then contact those positive patients and ask if they can give plasma.

The Red Cross said although donations are up, there is still a need for blood and they urge people to still donate even if you don't need an antibody test.

“The reality is we're in an urgent need for blood donations, so we feel like this is a win/win situation,” said Jan Hale with the American Red Cross. “We can offer something to our blood donors and they're certainly helping us.”

According to Hale, after being tested, a donor's antibody test results will be available within seven to 10 days. 

Officials think this testing is key to learning more about this virus.

Click here to view future OBI blood drives in the state.

Click here to view future American Red Cross blood drives in the state.