We Are Blood pleads for blood donations, begins COVID-19 antibody testing

Supplies of O negative, O positive are at critical levels

Talk 1370 Newsroom
October 30, 2020 - 10:02 am
Blood donations

AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- Blood supplies across Central Texas have reached a critical low point, prompting officials to plea for donations from healthy individuals across the area.

We Are Blood, which serves as the exclusive provider of blood and platelets for 10 Central Texas counties and covers more than 40 hospitals and medical centers within that region, says donations are at a critically low level, and there is less than a day's supply of O negative and O positive blood donations - important supplies often needed during traumas.

"We are asking Central Texans to donate and help us meet the urgent need for blood immediately," said Nick Canedo, WRB's vice president of communications. "Due to nationwide blood supply shortages, we cannot rely on other cities, hospitals or blood centers to lend aid as communities across the country struggle to collect donations. We saw amazing community support for blood donation at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and know our community can rally again to avert this blood shortage crisis now and through the winter months."

In addition, WRB has launched COVID-19 antibody testing for all donations to qualify additional COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors. Individuals will be able to access their test results in WRB’s online donor portal approximately one week after their donation.

Mobile blood drives, which normally account for half of the blood donations received, have been hit especially hard by the pandemic - resulting in an ongoing blood shortage across the country. As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to spike in different locations across the country, convalescent plasma donors and whole blood/platelet donors are both needed with equal measure to ensure proper treatment for all.

Anyone who is experiencing COVID-like symptoms or has recently come in contact with someone who is infected should not donate blood. Donors are required to feel healthy and well at the time of donation, and to wait at least 14 days from the subsiding of infection symptoms or exposure before donating blood.

Donations can be made at any one of WRB's three area donor centers on North Lamar, Round Rock and South Austin, and there are also mobile blood drives scheduled weekly. For more information, visit www.weareblood.org.

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