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Lifesouth conducting COVID-19 antibody tests

Contributed

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers has begun testing all eligible blood donors for COVID-19 antibodies.

The antibody test conducted by LifeSouth is authorized for use by the FDA and detects if someone has developed antibodies to COVID-19. A positive test result may indicate past exposure and some immunity to the virus. This antibody test is not a diagnostic test and will not determine if the person currently has the virus.

LifeSouth encourages donors to make an appointment to donate over the coming weeks.

Plasma donated from recovered COVID-19 patients, or those who had the virus but were asymptomatic, can be a critical tool to help those patients severely affected by the virus. LifeSouth has been testing potential convalescent plasma donors for COVID-19 antibodies since April, and hopes by testing all blood donors, more donors will be willing to donate. Since the first convalescent donation in April, LifeSouth has collected convalescent plasma from donors across their footprint in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. These units have been transfused to critically ill patients in local hospitals served by the community blood center.

Right now, LifeSouth is experiencing a critical need for all blood types, and assures it is safe to give blood. All donor centers and bloodmobiles are enforcing social distancing between donors and implementing heightened sanitation protocols. LifeSouth’s donor centers are located in Montgomery, Dothan and Opelika.   LifeSouth’s bloodmobiles will also be out at many locations in the coming weeks. Check the website for a drive near you.

Donors must be at least 17 or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also needed. For additional information, call LifeSouth toll-free at 888-795-2707 or visitwww.lifesouth.org.