Vitalant, a non-profit organization that helps distribute blood to hospitals to encourage volunteers to donate blood, said it would begin notifying donors if they have new coronavirus antibodies,media BGR reported. Vitalant’s antibody testing has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will help individuals determine whether they are exposed to the new coronavirus, whether or not they have shown symptoms.
The initiative of the programme is that blood donation activities have been suspended due to the emergence of COVID-19, which has led to a shortage of blood supplies for various operations and medical plans. “Although a positive antibody test does not mean that someone is immune to COVID-19, it does mean that they may be eligible to donate recovery resuscitation plasma in the future and help patients.” Cliff Numark, marketing officer at Vitalant, explains. “Recovery plasma can be given directly to patients currently fighting COVID-19 to help them improve disease resistance. “
In fact, Vitalant is interested in detecting new coronavirus antibodies in the blood precisely because it can help scientists and researchers come up with effective antiviral programs. Microsoft launched a program a few weeks ago to help people determine whether they are eligible to donate plasma for coronavirus research. In a blog post highlighting the benefits of using coronavirus antibodies to study blood, Microsoft explains:
Thankfully, as the human immune system has learned to fight disease and people recover, we see some very promising ways in which people naturally produce antibodies, which are present in the recovery plasma, that can be used to treat others. The use of restorative plasma is a technique that dates back to the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which was effective in the recent SARS outbreak. Today, there is growing clinical evidence that plasma collected from PATIENTs recovering from COVID-19 can be used to treat patients with the disease.
Vitalant has been collecting blood plasma from rehabilitation patients for weeks, but the new plan is expected to lead to a surge in blood donors.
Vitalant notes that the following people do not have the conditions to donate blood:
You have had symptoms of laboratory-diagnosed or suspected COVID-19 infection, and subsequent nasopharyngeal swab test results are not negative.
You have lived or been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with or suspected of contracting COVID-19
You are a health care worker who has been caring for patients who have been diagnosed with or suspected COVID-19 and has not continued to use the recommended personal protective equipment (masks, protective clothing and gloves).