GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Vidant Health and The Blood Connection (TBC) are partnering to host a community blood drive at the Greenville Convention Center.
The blood drive is set for Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. inside the convention center at 303 SW Greenville Boulevard.
Those who complete a blood donation will receive COVID-19 antibody testing and a $20 VISA card.
This drive comes at a time of great need for blood donations, especially convalescent plasma donations.
TBC has an urgent need for convalescent plasma, a blood product that can help those currently battling COVID-19.
Last month, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for convalescent plasma to be used in patients currently battling COVID-19.
Research has shown that antibodies in the plasma of those who have recovered from COVID-19 can be transfused to patients to aid in the recovery of COVID-19 by lessening the severity and potentially shortening the length of the illness.
Anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 and has been symptom-free for at least 14 days can donate convalescent plasma at this blood drive.
Those who have had a positive antibody test may also donate plasma.
Donors must bring proof of a positive COVID-19 test or a positive COVID-19 antibody test to the blood drive in order to donate.
The process takes about 30 minutes longer than a regular blood donation.
Call 864-751-1168 to make an appointment to donate plasma.
COVID-19 antibody testing will be included with all completed blood donations.
The test, which will provide blood donors with a positive or negative result in seven business days, will be included in the normal panel of testing that is done for all complete blood donations.
TBC wants to ensure that all donors are aware that this is not a diagnostic test for COVID-19 infection, nor does it prove the individual has immunity to the virus.
Blood donations, including convalescent plasma, have a positive community impact because TBC is Vidant’s sole blood provider.
Those donated blood products help hundreds of local patients per year.
The Greenville Convention Center was chosen because it allows for the recommended social distancing space between donors.
TBC ensures that all donors are healthy through wellness screenings prior to their donation and the organization is taking extra precautionary measures to ensure donation sites are clean places to donate blood.
These special precautions will be taken during this drive to limit exposure and encourage social distancing:
- Donor flow will be set up to limit interaction between donors.
- All TBC staff will be wearing masks. Face coverings are required for donors.
- Donor chairs will be spaced as far apart as possible.
- Donors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to control social distancing.
- Make an appointment by visiting thebloodconnection.org or by calling 864-751-1155.
Signage will direct donors to the drive entrance and free parking will be available.
Appointments are strongly recommended in order to control social distancing and limit interaction.
Donors can find their antibody test results in their online donor portal (not on the TBC app) seven business days after donation.
Donors can make an appointment at thebloodconnection.org.
To contact TBC, please call 864-751-1155.
TBC emphasizes these facts about donating blood during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Center for Disease Control (CDC), there have been no reported or suspected cases of transfusion-transmitted COVID-19.
- Individuals are not at risk of contracting COVID-19 through the blood donation process or via a blood transfusion, since respiratory viruses are generally not known to be transmitted by donation or transfusion.
- America’s Blood Centers and the FDA have both stated that a blood drive is not considered a mass gathering or an event, as donating blood is an “essential civic duty.”
- TBC follows appropriate infection control standards of donor rooms and mobiles, which include sanitation of donation chairs. TBC has increased decontamination of surfaces in centers and on blood mobiles.
- The Blood Connection staff will complete a full health screening for all donors prior to donating blood. This includes a questionnaire (which includes travel questions), temperature check, and mini-physical.
- Blood centers are not healthcare providers and thus do not provide COVID-19 diagnostic tests.