Standard blood donations can be used in the fight against COVID-19

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Watching people you know struggle to overcome COVID-19 might leave you feeling helpless. But besides following safety guidance the American Red Cross says there is something else you can do that could save someone’s life.

In West Virginia, the Red Cross is testing all blood and platelet donations for COVID-19 antibodies. Plasma from standard blood donations that test positive for the antibodies can be given to a COVID-19 patient.

“I know people are really interested in making that impact and helping people if they’ve had COVID-19 themselves and they know they might be able to help others,” said Erica Mani, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross West Virginia Region.

For several months now all blood donations made through the West Virginia region of the American Red Cross have been tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Even though the Red Cross doesn’t have any traditional plasma location donations in the area standard blood donation can accomplish the same thing.

“The Red Cross can take a whole blood donation and derive convalescent plasma from that whole blood,” Mani said. “In fact over the last week we have derived plasma from about 800 blood donations.”

Arla Ralston said she had no idea her blood donation could help in the fight against COVID-19.

“Right now especially I mean there is so little you feel like you can do to try to help what is going on,” Ralston said. “That is one really good way. Plus to get that information whether you’ve got the antibodies or not, it is a benefit.”

Provided by American Red Cross.

For information on upcoming blood donation opportunities click here.

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