As we are still fighting COVID-19 together, we want to answer the most popular questions about donating blood, the COVID-19 vaccine & anything regarding the corona virus.
Can I still donate whole blood, platelets or plasma if I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes! If you have received the COVID-19 vaccine, you are still a wonderful candidate to donate whole blood. You can receive the vaccine and donate blood in the same day as long as you aren’t currently having a reaction to the vaccination. If you have had or are having a reaction of any kind from the vaccine, we ask that you wait to donate blood until you are completely symptom free & feeling well again.
Can I donate plasma to help someone with COVID-19 in need?
Thankfully, the need for Convalescent COVID-19 Plasma (CCP) to treat COVID-19 patients is not currently in critical demand in our area. However, the decrease in CCP demand does not imply that there are not other members of our community in need of other blood products such as apheresis plasma and platelets. If you are interested in becoming an apheresis donor, please contact the Blood Center with any questions you might have & we would be more than excited to schedule your 1st plasma or platelet donation.
Why do I need an HLA Test if I want to donate Apheresis? And who needs it
Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) is a protein that is responsible for the regulation of the immune system in humans. Female donors who have a history of pregnancy and were exposed to fetal blood are more likely to develop these antibodies in their plasma. The antibodies will stay in the blood forever once they develop.
HLA antibodies are not harmful to a female’s health, however it can lead to a condition known as Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury (TRALI) in some blood transfusion recipients. TRALI is a serious complication of blood transfusion characterized by sudden acute respiratory distress. We are therefore required to test female donors with a history of pregnancy for the antibodies if they are interested in donating Apheresis platelets and plasma.
If you are interested in joining our HLA Donation Program please contact the blood center to make an appointment (don’t forget to bring a photo ID with your date of birth). The HLA testing will consist of a sample tube being drawn, it will be sent for testing, once results are received (within 72 hours), you will receive a call from us to inform you of the result.
Is the Coastal Bend Blood Center still offering the COVID-19 Antibody Test?
The Coastal Bend Blood Center will no longer be offering the complimentary COVID-19 Antibody Test after March 31, 2021. As of June 15, 2020, every blood donor received a complimentary COVID-19 Antibody Test. You can access your antibody test results on your donor portal.
When can I donate if I have had COVID-19?
It is always wise to consult with your doctor or the Blood Center before scheduling your appointment to donate. At the earliest, interested donors can donate blood after they have been completely symptom free for at least 14 days.
Is the Blood Center still requiring masks to be worn?
Regarding the recent state-level announcements, the Coastal Bend Blood Center will continue to require masks be worn at our main center & mobile drives for all individuals, regardless of the individual’s vaccination status. Thank you for doing your part & helping us continue to save lives in our community.