APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The Community Blood Center in Appleton says it will conduct antibody testing for the coronavirus.
Testing will allow for the identification of convalescent plasma donors, whose plasma can be used in the potential treatment of coronavirus patients, according to CBC. At the end of April, CBC had its first donation of convalescent plasma from a coronavirus patient who had since recovered from the virus.
Convalescent plasma can be used for transfusion to patients suffering from severe cases of coronavirus.
CBC says they now have the capability to test for the antibody in plasma to identify individuals who can become convalescent plasma donors.
There are two ways to qualify as a convalescent plasma donor, according to CBC. The first is through a positive molecular test at the point of diagnosis of infection. The second is laboratory evidence of antibody formation. CBC reports it has the capability to conduct this test and will do so with a segment of the blood donor population who may be eligible to become convalescent plasma donors.
The objective of CBC is to supply hospitals with blood and blood components. Testing capabilities are reserved strictly to identify potential convalescent plasma donors, should the antibody test be positive. CBC is not capable of testing the general population. CBC is currently setting up the testing and anticipates it will begin to test the first week of June.
CBC says prospective convalescent plasma donors need to meet the following eligibility:
- Had positive medical test diagnosing COVID-19 OR had symptoms of COVID-19 but did not receive a formal medical test diagnosis
- No longer has symptoms of COVID-19
- Meets all blood donor eligibility criteria
Those interested in learning more about convalescent plasma donation should contact CBC at (800) 280-4102 or complete the online form here.
Blood and blood components, such as convalescent plasma, remain safe. The antibody testing is not done as a safety measure on the blood itself, but to identify the plasma that could help COVID-19 patients. There is no known risk of transfusion transmission of this virus, says CBC.
CBC provides blood, platelets, and plasma, including convalescent plasma, to hospitals to meet the transfusion needs of patients. Among those hospitals CBC supports are more than 20 local hospitals and hospital systems, including ThedaCare. All blood and blood components the ThedaCare system relies on comes exclusively from CBC.