WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Texas Blood Institute announced Wednesday it will provide free COVID-19 antibody tests for all blood donors aged 18 and older.
The testing will be provided at all donor centers and mobile blood drives, and it comes in wake of an immediate need for blood donations due to the amount of blood drive cancellations.
The Texas Blood Institute is the first blood center in the state to offer COVID-19 antibody screening to its donors.
Healthy donors are encouraged to give blood and to make appointments to help ensure recommended social distancing guidelines can be followed.
The press release can be found below:
Texas Blood Institute Announces COVID-19 Antibody Tests for Blood Donors
June 3, 2020 (Wichita Falls) ─ Texas Blood Institute announced it will provide free COVID-19 antibody tests for all blood donors eighteen and older. Texas Blood Institute is the first blood center in the state to offer COVID-19 antibody screening service to its donors.
This testing initiative, provided at all donor centers and mobile blood drives, comes in the wake of an immediate need for blood donations due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations. Healthy donors are urged to give blood, and appointments are encouraged to allow for recommended social distancing.
The testing kits are provided by IMMY located in Norman, OK, and Texas Blood Institute’s medical laboratory technicians will test each blood sample individually. A tube will be drawn at the time of donation, and antibody test results will be mailed post-donation. Donors may opt out of the antibody test.* Testing and donor b-roll can be found on Dropbox.
“Our generous donors are answering the call to donate – coming out in force when the need for blood is great and ensuring that no patient goes without crucial transfusion care,” said John Armitage, president & CEO of Texas Blood Institute. “The antibody tests are a natural step in our commitment to the health of our lifesaving donors, and we are also very eager to help our state reopen medically and economically.”
Texas Blood Institute’s donor center and mobile blood drives have instituted additional cleaning methods, decontaminating work and common areas and equipment frequently. In addition, donor centers and mobile blood drives have been adapted to allow for social distancing. All phlebotomy staff will wear masks. Staff members and donors will also have their temperatures taken before starting work or entering the facility.
Texas Blood Institute is following recommendations and guidelines set forth by the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks. Texas Blood Institute is committed to maintaining the safest standards for blood collection, testing and transfusion.
*16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds. Must be 18 or older to receive antibody test. This test has not been reviewed by the FDA and is not intended for diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19.