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American Red Cross testing for COVID-19 antibodies

Posted at 3:31 PM, Jun 16, 2020

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The American Red Cross is testing for COVID-19 antibodies through the end of summer.

Antibody testing is approved by the FDA and will tell a blood donor whether or not they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. Antibodies are formed when a patient fights off infections like COVID-19.

If results come back positive, a patient may be eligible to donate convalescent blood plasma, which could help a critical patient fight off COVID-19.

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“The process is not different because we will be obtaining a sample during that blood donation that is sent and processed along with other infectious diseases that we screen for,” said Cynthia De La Torre, spokeswoman for American Red Cross.

De La Torre says blood donations have slowed down while hospital demand for blood has jumped by 30 percent with many blood drives being canceled due to COVID-19.

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“Because those surgical procedures that were paused at the beginning of COVID-19 have now continued so we have those regular patients that need the blood, cancer patients, sickle cell anemia patients, and premature babies still needing that blood,” De La Torre said.