Vitalant testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies

Local News

(Photo by Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture alliance via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS)Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services, is offering a dual benefit to those that donate blood. Donors will now be able to learn if they have antibodies to COVID-19 after giving blood, and their donation will help patients that critically need it.

On Monday, Vitalant became the first national blood bank to test all blood donations for antibodies to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The nonprofit blood collector, that serves hospital patients in Las Vegas, is providing the test results to donors who complete successful blood donations. The nonprofit stresses that blood is critically needed right now.

The antibody test, which is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms, Vitalant says.

“While a positive antibody test does not mean that someone is immune to COVID-19, it does mean that they may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma in the future and help people with the disease,” said Cliff Numark, Vitalant’s Chief of Marketing. “Convalescent plasma can be given directly to patients currently battling COVID-19 to help boost their ability to fight their illness.”

Vitalant began collecting and distributing convalescent plasma in April.

For more information, click HERE.

Vitalant says the are in especially high need for type O, A-negative and B-negative red blood cells. In addition, platelets are always needed by patients for cancer treatments, surgeries and emergencies.

Donors are urged to give blood as soon as possible. Appointments are strongly recommended– to make one, visit vitalant.org or call (877) 258-4825.

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