OneBlood tests blood donations for coronavirus antibodies

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

OneBlood is now testing all of its blood donations for coronavirus antibodies. The Florida-based blood center said not only will you save three lives, but you can find out if you had the virus before and if so, could save coronavirus patients’ lives.

You can make an appointment at any OneBlood location, such as the center in Cape Coral, or any Big Red Bus to donate blood and get tested for those COVID-19 antibodies.

In 48 hours, participants are expected to have results and you might be able to save a life in more ways than one.

James Crocker is a survivor of COVID-19 and then became a plasma donor.

“I was sick for a total of 10 days,” Crocker said.

Once he recovered, Crocker said he turned a painful situation into a purposeful one by donating his plasma full of antibodies to a struggling COVID-19 patient.

“The ability to actually save a life was just an overwhelming, amazing feeling,” Crocker said.

Now, OneBlood is hoping other people can have the same feeling of being a hero for someone in need and getting some peace of mind when their donated blood is tested for antibodies.

“Not only does it let the donor know if they have that antibody, it also will help identify additional people who could be potential convalescent plasma donors,” said Susan Forbes, the senior vice president of corporate communications and PR for OneBlood.

Representatives from OneBlood said it’s also working with Gov. Ron DeSantis to provide data on the number of people testing positive for the antibody and where those positives are found. OneBlood hopes this assists the governor and public health officials as they look to further reopen the economy.

OneBlood sends blood donations to the Creative Solutions laboratory.

“The antibodies, if they’re present in the plasma, will attach to those antigens,” said Ben Reynolds, the laboratory director of Creative Solutions.

The blood is tested, and results are available to donors in 48 hours.

“It’s just another avenue that a OneBlood is able to help,” Forbes said.

And it helps find out just how many people have had COVID-19 and help you make all the difference for someone still fighting it.

“I would just encourage you, if you’re out there, and you think, ‘Well, my donation can’t be all that important,’” Crocker said. “No. No. It’s very, very important. You could save a life.”

For more information and to make an appointment, visit the OneBlood website.

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