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LifeSouth asks for recovered COVID-19 patients to donate convalescent plasma

LifeSouth recognizing donors on World Blood Donor Day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, a nonprofit blood bank that serves several Northeast Florida hospitals, is again testing all eligible blood donors for COVID-19 antibodies and is encouraging anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 to help save lives by donating convalescent plasma.

LifeSouth says the antibody testing helps identify donors who might be eligible to give convalescent plasma, which is needed by local hospitals to help those fighting the virus.

LifeSouty says its antibody test is authorized by the FDA, and a positive test result may indicate past exposure and some immunity to the virus, but it doesn’t tell you if you currently have the virus, or whether you were exposed to the delta variant.

Healthy blood donors who may have been exposed to or recovered from COVID-19 are asked to donate as soon as they have completed the recommended CDC quarantine guidelines. There is no deferral period for donors who have received the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, LifeSouth said.

As part of the normal blood donation process, a test will be performed on the donor’s blood to determine if antibodies are present in the plasma.

“Local hospitals and patients need the community’s support every day — and especially now, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. Donating blood and convalescent plasma is one of the fastest and most impactful ways to help our neighbors in this public health emergency,” said Dr. Chris Lough, Vice President of Medical Services for LifeSouth Community Blood Centers.

Donors must be fully recovered from COVID-19 and symptom-free for two weeks before coming to LifeSouth’s donor centers or blood drives to donate.

In addition to convalescent plasma donors, all blood types are needed, LifeSouth said, adding that regimented cleaning and safety precautions are in place to ensure the well-being of blood donors and staff.

To donate blood or convalescent plasma, visit www.lifesouth.org or call 888-795-2707 to schedule an appointment.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.