Kentucky Blood Center adding COVID antibody screenings to donations

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Graphic courtesy: MGN Online

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)In an effort to boost the convalescent plasma program ad potentially increase treatments for weeks ahead, Kentucky Blood Center will test blood donations made at KBC donor centers for COVID-19 antibodies.

The testing will go on through Oct. 3.

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“Testing for antibodies will help us identify donors who have COVID-19 antibodies present, whether they were symptomatic or not,” said Bill Reed, CEO of Kentucky Blood Center. “Identifying donors with the antibodies will help us build our supply of convalescent plasma and will allow Kentucky hospitals the ability to treat COVID-19 patients for many months to come.”

While COVID-19 currently has no proven treatment, it is possibleconvalescent plasma, a component of blood from patients who have recovered from COVID-19, may provide antibodies to fight the virus. Individuals who have had a positive COVID-19 diagnostic test or test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be eligible to donate 14-28 days after complete resolution of their symptoms.

On March 19, Kentucky Blood Center was the first community blood center to collect convalescent plasma from a recovered patient for transfusion to a critically ill COVID-19 patient.

Since that time, nearly 200 donors have provided this potentially life-saving donation through KBC to more than 70 hospitals throughout the Commonwealth.

“Blood products donated at KBC are used to treat Kentucky patients battling all kinds of circumstances,” said Mandy Brajuha, vice president for External Relations. “By donating at one of our donor centers during this time period, people can immediately impact the lives of their neighbors through that initial donation and if they prove to have COVID-19 antibodies, they can potentially help yet again by donating convalescent plasma.”

Kentucky Blood Center supplies blood and blood products to 70+ hospitals in the Kentucky area.

People who already have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have fully recovered, and are interested in possibly being contacted about the CCP program, should visit https://kybloodcenter.org/convalescent-plasma-donation/ and join the registry.

A KBC staff member will be in contact regarding possible CCP donation.

Successful blood, platelet and double red blood cell donations made at KBC’s six donor centers from September 14-October 3 will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.

Appointments are required and donors should wear a face covering and be feeling healthy at the time of donation. People who are actively awaiting COVID-19 test results are not eligible to donate.

The test is NOT a diagnostic test for COVID-19 diagnosis and those who believe they may have been exposed to the disease should seek diagnostic testing. Locations for this can be accessed by visiting https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19.

For information on the antibody testing, visit www.kybloodcenter.org/event/covid-19-antibody-testing.

Donations made at the following KBC locations will be tested:

Beaumont Donor Center
3121 Beaumont Centre Circle
Lexington, KY 40513
(859) 276-2534

Middletown Donor Center
12905 Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40243
(502) 290-0537

Pikeville Donor Center
472 S. Mayo Trail
Pikeville, KY 41501
(606) 432-4979

Andover Donor Center
3130 Maple Leaf Drive
Lexington, KY 40509
(859) 327-3223

Hillview Donor Center
5406 Antle Drive
Louisville, KY 40229
(502) 915-0989

Somerset Donor Center
10 Stonegate Centre
Somerset, KY 42503
(606) 679-7413

To schedule an appointment, click on the links above for each donor center, visit kybloodcenter.org, or call (800) 775-2522. The call center is open Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.