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We Are Blood (WRB), the exclusive provider of blood and platelets to more than 40 Central Texas hospitals and medical centers in central Texas, has issued an urgent plea for healthy individuals to donate blood as the blood bank experiences critically low donations.
Currently there is less than a day’s supply of important O negative and O positive blood donations, often needed during traumas. In addition, WRB has launched antibody testing for COVID-19 with all donations on October 28 to qualify additional COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors in the Central Texas community.
WRB will test all blood, platelet, and convalescent plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies to prepare Central Texas for any further spikes in cases and hospitalizations like those occurring in other Texas regions and nationally. Individuals will be able to access their test results in WRB’s online donor portal approximately one week after donation.
Individuals with positive antibody results may become convalescent plasma donors. Any individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and are without symptoms for at least 14 days are encouraged to submit a qualification form for convalescent plasma at WRB’s website.
“We are asking Central Texans to donate and help us meet the urgent need for blood immediately,” said WRB vice president of communications, Nick Canedo. “Due to nationwide blood supply shortages, we cannot rely on other cities, hospitals or blood centers to lend aid as communities across the country struggle to collect donations. We saw amazing community support for blood donation at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and know our community can rally again to avert this blood shortage crisis now and through the winter months.”
The pandemic has resulted in an ongoing blood shortage across the nation due to ongoing decreases in mobile blood drives which account for half of blood donations normally collected. As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to spike in different locations across the country, convalescent plasma donors and whole blood/platelet donors are both needed with equal measure to ensure proper treatment for all.
It is important to remember antibody tests are NOT diagnostic tests. Anyone who is experiencing COVIDlike symptoms or has recently come in contact with someone who is infected should not donate blood. Donors are required to feel healthy and well at the time of donation, and to wait at least 14 days from the subsiding of infection symptoms or exposure before donating blood.
For more information regarding the COVID-19 antibody testing, visit WRB’s FAQ page. To qualify for convalescent plasma donation, fill out the qualification form here. Appointments are mandatory and face coverings must be worn throughout the donation process.
Donations can be made at any one of three area donor centers on North Lamar, Round Rock and South Austin. There are also mobile blood drives scheduled weekly. Check locations for hours and days of operation.