Critical blood shortage is most prolonged in recent history
Your community blood supply is experiencing its most prolonged period of a critical shortage in recent history. All blood types are needed, desperately, from all eligible blood donors. Hospital patients are in jeopardy of not receiving the transfusions they require and hospital executives are monitoring day-to-day their ability to provide a full scope of services, based on the day’s blood inventory.
In the midst of such dire circumstances, the blood center is showing appreciation to those individuals who can take time to help give for life, by providing no-cost COVID-19 antibody testing on successful donations, for a limited time.
What does the antibody test result mean?
The test is an indicator of someone’s exposure to coronavirus, but is not an indicator of immunity to COVID-19. When truly positive, but false positives can also occur, the test indicates it is likely you had COVID-19, even if you did not show symptoms. A truly negative test, and again, false negatives can occur, means it is unlikely you have had the COVID-19 infection.
This is not a COVID-19 test.
If you are feeling ill, do not attempt to give blood. Blood donors are required to feel healthy and well at the time of donation. If you do not feel well, please contact your health care provider.
How do I get my test results?
You will be able to retrieve the test results, within 1-2 weeks after a successful blood donation, from your personal information page. Accessible via the Carter BloodCare App for iOS and Android or here, If you have not accessed your personal information page, we encourage you to do so at the time of your donation.
If you would like additional support downloading the app, support for login, or setting up your personal information page click here.
The initial antibody screening test that Carter BloodCare uses is unlikely to be positive after a blood donor receives a COVID-19 vaccine.
The antibodies that are generated after a vaccine are not detected by the antibody screening test that Carter BloodCare uses for blood donations. Every test detects a certain part of the virus. Your lack of a positive antibody test result means our test doesn’t detect the response to the vaccine; but it does not reflect on the effectiveness of the vaccine.
A diagnostic test looks for the presence of the actual virus. The antibody test is not designed for the diagnosis of acute infection. This test is designed to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This test may be an indicator that an individual has been exposed to coronavirus. More experience is needed with the test to know whether it is specific for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and is not picking up past exposure to other types of coronaviruses, such as colds. That is why it should not be used as proof of immunity to COVID-19. Experts also do not yet know if having SARS-CoV-2 antibody actually protects you from re-exposure to COVID-19.
If you had past symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, or have been exposed to persons with the COVID-19 infection, then a positive test result suggests you may have been infected. If you were not sick or do not know if you were exposed, it is harder to know what the test result means. Either way, you need to continue to practice caution in the community and protect yourself and others from possible exposure.
- If I test positive for antibodies to COVID-19, does that mean I could still be infectious with the disease and be harmful to others?
All indications right now are that antibody means recovery after infection. We have no reason to believe someone would be infectious while having antibodies. The evidence supports a very small window of infectiousness, starting a couple of days before symptoms and not lasting long after fever is gone.
- If my blood tests positive, will the plasma be given to a current COVID-19 patient?
Your plasma could be given to a current COVID-19 patient if it qualifies further. Additionally, Carter BloodCare may contact you to explore your eligibility for donating convalescent plasma. You would be eligible to donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma much earlier than the routine 56 days after a whole blood donation.
If you have felt well, and have not been around anyone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19, then a negative test most likely means you have not been infected. However, there are many reasons a falsely negative test result could occur, including the fact that this is an investigational test (e.g. newly developed and not U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved).
Yes. Carter BloodCare is offering the test to show appreciation to donors who are successful in giving whole blood, platelets, plasma and red cells during the most prolonged period of a critical blood shortage in recent history.
Yes. We are offering antibody testing only for completed blood donations that will be used for patient transfusion. The COVID-19 antibody test is performed in addition to all FDA-required testing to ensure patient safety.
No. Please do not donate blood if you are sick or think you were recently exposed. This test is not a COVID-19 diagnostic test. If you believe you could have COVID-19, or another illness, please contact your health care provider. Donors are required to feel well and healthy at the time of donation.
No. Scientific evidence at this time has not shown any risk of transmission of any coronavirus through blood transfusion. The viruses that we test for are those that can potentially be spread through blood transfusion. COVID-19 is a virus that is spread through respiratory droplets and not through donated blood.
No. Only successful blood donations from those who give blood, platelets, plasma and red cells, beginning Monday, June 22nd and for a limited time into the future will be tested, for the COVID-19 antibodies.
No. All blood that is collected beginning Monday, June 22nd and for a limited time moving forward will be tested for coronavirus antibodies.
Yes. It is state law for Carter BloodCare to report COVID-19 antibody results and the blood center intends to comply with that law.
If I donate COVID-19 convalescent plasma with Carter BloodCare will I receive the COVID-19 antibody test?
Yes. COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors will receive a COVID-19 antibody test.
Blood donors will receive the results through the Carter BloodCare web site on their donor portal – a personal page with your login and a password that you establish and that is intended for your access. The results will only be posted there and will be accessible 1-2 weeks after your blood donation.
Carter BloodCare is using one of two tests: the Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Inc.(Ortho) VITROS Immunodiagnostic Products Anti-SARSCoV-2 Total Reagent Pack test or the Roche Diagnostics Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 serology test*. According to Ortho, their test is designed to detect antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19 in serum and plasma. According to Roche, their test is designed to detect antibodies in people who have been exposed to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the COVID-19 disease.
The COVID-19 antibody test offered by Carter BloodCare to its volunteer donors is free and performed on successful blood donations, for a limited time.
Although there are, as yet, no FDA-approved tests for antibodies to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, there is considerable interest in testing. The FDA is granting its use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) during the pandemic. It is intended to detect antibodies to the virus causing COVID-19.