LifeServe, ISU Research Lab to test blood for COVID-19 antibodies


FILE – In this Friday, June 12, 2020 file photo, a doctor holds a bag of blood plasma donated by a COVID-19 survivor at at blood bank in La Paz, Bolivia. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of blood plasma for what’s called “emergency use” during the coronavirus pandemic, but the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday AUG. 24, 2020, cautioned that using blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors to treat other patients is still considered an experimental therapy. (AP Photo/Juan Karita, FILE)

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – LifeServe Blood Center is working with Iowa State University’s Research Laboratory to test donated blood for COVID-19 antibodies.

The testing will look for previous exposure to COVID-19 from those who are now healthy and symptom free.

The test results will be available 5-7 days after blood donors give blood through the LifeServe Blood Center online profile. Only individuals who are healthy and volunteer blood donors are eligible for antibody testing.

LifeServe’s Director of PR and Marketing Danielle West said this will help understand the spread of the virus among the population. She added that the COVID-19 antibody test is free for donors who consent.

“Positive test results will be provided to Iowa’s Public Health Department for further research and investigation to understand the impact of the virus among a healthy subset of the population,” West said.

The antibody testing will also be used to identify anyone who can provide convalescent plasma for critically ill COVID-19 patients. Dr. Leyla Best, an infectious specialist at UnityPoint Health in Des Moines, said convalescent plasma has had a significant impact on COVID-19 treatment.

“Convalescent plasma is readily available to us when needed for our hospitalized patients and has also helped other patients around the country. The addition of antibody testing on all donors is a significant step in this continued care,” Best said.

Anyone who have previously had COVID-19 has recovered or who have previously tested positive for the COVID-19 antibody are encouraged to donate convalescent plasma. Individuals can enter this special donation program by clicking here.

Anyone who feels unwell or is exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus are not eligible to donate blood. Only individuals who are healthy, volunteer blood donors are eligible for antibody testing.

Several precautionary measures have been put into place to ensure a safe environment for blood donations, and appointments are required. To schedule a blood donation appointment call 800-287-4903 or visit their website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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