Warren General Hospital is calling for blood donations.
It is the blood currently on the shelves that saves lives, WGH Head of Laboratory Services John Graves said. So please consider giving a unit of blood during these difficult times.
Community Blood Bank of Erie (CBB) is the sole provider of blood and blood products to Warren General and the surrounding areas Erie, Corry, Titusville, Jamestown, etc., Warren General Hospital Medical Director Dr. Keith Price said. With the ongoing critical need of blood, it has a profound effect to our area and is a matter of public safety.
If there continues to be a decline in the amount of blood that is available, Warren General may have to consider postponing elective surgeries, Price said. We are asking that the public, please, if you are able, step up and give a unit of blood. In less than 1 hour you could help save the lives of three people.
CBB is offering antibody testing for all donors through Nov. 30.
Identifying blood with COVID antibodies will enable CBB to increase the local supply of COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (CCP) and recruit those donors.
CCP is a plasma donation that also contains the SARS-CoV-2 antibodies within the plasma, according to a CBB release. Transfusing these antibodies through plasma is one of the approved treatments for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
An antibody test looks for evidence that your body has produced antibodies against a certain virus, the CBB release said. The test is meant to determine whether you may have had previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus known to cause COVID-19.
Officials note that an antibody test is not a COVID-19 test, those who feel unwell or have symptoms of any illness are not eligible to donate and should not show up at any blood donation event, and a positive antibody test does not guarantee that individual is immune to COVID-19.
Masking and social distancing rules will be in effect at blood collection locations.
Some donors who were not previously eligible may now be.
CBB has adjusted its deferral list to match new Food and Drug Administration guidelines for the blood industry.
There is now no deferral for people who were stationed on or lived on a military base in Europe between 1980 and 1996; nor for those who lived in Europe for five years or more from 1980 to the present. The exceptions to those changes are people who lived in the United Kingdom for three months or more from 1980 through 1996, and those who lived in Ireland or France for at least five years from 1980 through 2001.
Other deferral periods have been reduced from 12 months to three months.
Those situations include people who received tattoos or piercings; those who traveled to (but were not residents of) areas where malaria was an epidemic; people who have possible blood exposures including needle sticks, blood transfusions, organ transplants, or skin or bone grafts; and men who have had sexual contact with other men.
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