Red Cross issues call for donors

Linn County Leader

The American Red Cross has issued a call for donors. Those wishing to donate blood or blood products can do so in the coming weeks at two area blood drives.

A blood drive will be held on Feb. 8 from 1:30 - 5:30 p.m., at the Walsworth Community Center, 124 E Ritchie in Marceline or from 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., on Feb. 10 in Trenton at North Central Missouri College, 1204 Main St., at the Alexander Student Center.

Donors can make an appointment to give blood, platelets or plasma with the Red Cross by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

According to a press release from the Red Cross the group is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face-covering or mask while at the event.