On Wednesday, the American Red Cross said any blood donation can help coronavirus patients. The organization is now testing any blood donation for coronavirus antibodies so the convalescent plasma can be used to help those battling the virus.
Before, only certain locations were collecting convalescent plasma.
WAAY 31 learned all the changes are going on behind the scenes in the labs once you donate blood. So, the donation process will stay the same if you go to a Red Cross donation center.
Whenever you donate blood at the American Red Cross, your blood is tested for coronavirus antibodies. If that comes back positive, it is tested one more time to make sure the positive result is accurate.
The Red Cross said since 2 percent of the United States population is testing positive for antibodies, every donation is important.
That's why they can now take plasma from any whole blood donation at any donation center or blood drive.
Amy Wasyluka, North Alabama Red Cross Biomedical Chair, said there's no new steps donors have to take for regular donations.
“This location has been collecting convalescent plasma and will continue to collect convalescent plasma, but you still do have to schedule any giving of convalescent plasma through the Red Cross online,” said Wasyluka.
If you want to guarentee you're making a convalescent plasma donation, you can follow their process for that.
The American Red Cross hopes testing every donation will increase the amount of convalescent plasma they can supply to hospitals.