MEDIC to screen all donors for COVID antibodies

(Press release) MEDIC Regional Blood Center will screen donors for COVID-19 antibodies beginning August 3rd through August 31st as part of an ongoing effort to identify and recruit potential COVID Convalescent Plasma donors. 

All eligible donors will be tested and 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 in September 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 from August 3rd – 31st will be by appointment-only. This allows MEDIC staff to control donor flow and continue to follow social distancing guidelines. 

“We are providing the screening as part of our overall effort to identify more COVID Convalescent Plasma donors,” said Kristy Altman, Director of Communications and Donor Engagement. “As a hot spot for increased hospitalizations, there is an urgent demand and need for more donations to increase the inventory. We will only notify donors with a positive result and we’ll do that via letter. Donors should understand that we cannot counsel them on their results. It is also important for donors to understand that we will not be giving any test results via phone call, email or our donor portal.” 

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. In August, MEDIC will offer donation opportunities in a variety of locations across the region. For that full list, visit www.medicblood.org. The first community drive will take place at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum in the 3rd Floor Meeting room from 6 AM to 8 PM beginning August 3rd through the 7th. 

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 protected].

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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