Blood and Plasma Donation 2020

Red Cross phlebotomist Nikia Davis works with donor Gregory Tarver.

The American Red Cross in Western North Carolina received a $10,000 grant from Nantahala Health Foundation for COVID-19 antibody testing for blood and platelet donations.

By offering these antibody tests, we hope to not only provide valuable public health information, but also to encourage blood donors to support patients in need. If a blood donor’s COVID-19 antibody test result is positive, they may be eligible to donate convalescent plasma, which can be used to help treat seriously ill coronavirus patients.

Convalescent plasma, a potentially lifesaving treatment, is plasma collected from patients who have recovered from an infection and have antibodies that might help fight that infection—in this case patients who have fully recovered from COVID-19. By helping to identify these people who have COVID-19 antibodies, and therefore might also be able to donate convalescent plasma, the Red Cross is playing a critical role in the fight against coronavirus.

“These funds are essential in our effort to collecting convalescent plasma products and provide information that may benefit our donors,” said Megan Robinson, Executive Director for the WNC Chapter of the American Red Cross.

For more information about Red Cross blood donation and antibody testing, visit our website: https://www.redcrossblood.org/.

Working as a catalyst for innovation and collaboration, Nantahala Health Foundation seeks to partner with nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary to achieve better health outcomes for all. By addressing the root causes of health inequities and improving social determinants of health, NHF works with regional change-makers to improve lives. Since its establishment in 2019, NHF has awarded nearly $1.75 million in support of more than 60 programs throughout the region.

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