MEDIC Regional Blood Center will stop screening blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies on September 30, 2020. MEDIC has been screening donations since August 1 to identify and potentially recruit COVID Convalescent Plasma (CCP) donors.
Anyone donating through September 30 will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Eligible donors will need to sign a separate consent form during registration. Donors must donate to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies and if there is no successful donation then there is no test. Anyone choosing not to be tested will be asked to return on October 1 or later when the testing window is closed.
This is not a COVID-19 diagnostic test. Donors should not visit MEDIC if they are sick in any way. Donors should be healthy and well before visiting any MEDIC donor center or community drive. As with any donation, donors will undergo a screening process that includes temperature check, blood pressure check, hemoglobin check and a series of questions to determine eligibility. All potential donors should eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of fluids before donating.
All donations through September 30 continue to be by appointment-only. This allows MEDIC staff to control donor flow and continue to follow social distancing guidelines. Beginning October 1, MEDIC will allow walk-in donors again.
“We have had a great response to the COVID-19 antibody screening program,” said Kristy Altman, Director of Communications and Donor Engagement. “We continue to have demand from our regional hospitals for COVID Convalescent Plasma and we will continue to recruit donors that have recovered from COVID-19 or who test positive for antibodies.”
Tests are performed on blood samples at an offsite testing facility and do not take place at any MEDIC location. Only donors with a positive result will receive notification. The antibody test is not a routine test for blood donors.
MEDIC Regional Blood Center is the primary blood and blood-related product provider for 25 hospitals in a 22-county region. MEDIC has four locations including Downtown Knoxville/Ailor Avenue, Farragut/Kingston Pike, Crossville and Athens.
Appointments are required at all donor centers and all community drives. Appointments can be made by calling 865-521-2658 or 865-524-3074 or by going online to www.medicblood.org.
Masks or face coverings are required at all donor centers and community drives. Masks will be provided if a donor does not have one. Anyone refusing to wear a mask will be asked to return when restrictions may be lifted.
For more information about MEDIC Regional Blood Center, contact Director of Communications and Donor Engagement Kristy Altman at 865-524-3074 or via email at email@example.com.