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Carter BloodCare gives COVID-19 antibody test with every successful blood donation

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 20:30:22-05

On Thursday, 25 News is partnering with Carter BloodCare for the station’s 4th annual blood drive. Carter BloodCare began giving free COVID-19 antibody tests with every successful blood donation back in the summer.

“A lot of people are just interested to know if they have been exposed to COVID-19 and they didn’t know about it,” said Dr. Frances Compton, Medical Staff Physician at Carter BloodCare.

With a COVID-19 antibody test, you may be able to find out if you have had COVID-19 in the past.

“Whether its mono, or whether you have hepatitis, or whether we are dealing with COVID-19, we have antibody tests," said Medical Director for Inpatient Medicine at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest, Dr. Marc Elieson. "So what the antibody test is actually measuring is your immune system's response to that infection. So when somebody has a positive test, it means they have been exposed to the virus."

By taking a sample of your blood, organizations like Carter BloodCare are able to see if there are COVID-19 antibodies present within your body.

“It is a protein that your body makes, and for most people it takes a solid two weeks. Some people are fortunate and they will start making the antibodies against the virus within a week, but for most people its going to be 12 to 14 days,” Dr. Elieson explained.

It's important to remember the test does not tell you if you currently have COVID-19, but by successfully donating blood, you can help save lives and find out if you carry the COVID-19 antibodies.

“The purpose was to be an added benefit to all of our donors who are coming out and helping us maintain our community blood supply during this very difficult time,” said Dr. Compton.

25 New's 4th annual blood drive is taking place Thursday, January 28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at our Waco studio, located at 1909 South New Road. To donate blood, schedule an appointment here.