COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations nationwide has created an urgent need for donations of convalescent plasma. Vitalant Blood Donation Centers are now testing every blood donation for COVID antibodies for free, in hopes of locating potential donors.
"Vitalant has seen a 400% increase in the number of units distributed to hospitals that we serve all across the country since September," said communications manager Liz Lambert.
She explained that if a donor receives a positive test for the antibodies, they can then choose to give plasma.
"Blood donation is something that is essential that FEMA and the US Surgeon General have both declared an essential activity it's something you can come and do safely with your family," Lambert said.
Many blood drives were canceled this year because of restrictions on in-person gatherings. As a result, Lambert said the donation centers are busier than normal. She recommends calling to schedule an appointment.
Blood donations collected at Vitalant go directly to hospitals. So, they must come from volunteer donors. The group doesn't pay for blood and plasma donations.