Donating Blood during COVID-19

Posted by schlegdiesel @schlegdiesel, Apr 9, 2020

I donated blood on tuesday in roch, wondering if they will test for antibodies

@seafire

Hi. Thanks for the quick reply and re-posting to the proper group. To your question: I have had no luck dealing with technical issues speaking directly with "New York Blood Center". As an example, I had a Shingles Vaccine 8 days before my last donation. I called the day before to be sure I was able to donate. I was told that if I received Shingrix (non live) vaccine, I was good to go. When I arrived to donate there was much confusion. At first they would not take blood from me. They did not seem to know the difference between the different types of Shingles Vaccines, and were adamant about my not being able to donate. Only after they spoke to their medical director and to my Doc was I allowed to donate. They may very well be testing for Covid-19, at least I hope so! I don't think it unreasonable to be informed of the test results, in fact, it could be life-saving. Given my age and my COPD, it is a big risk for me to even leave my apartment, which I have not done for over a month. I "believe" that by law, if my tests turn up some problem, like AIDS for instance, they must inform me. What feedback I do get from them is an email stating that my blood was used at this facility or that for a particular use, I.E. save an accident victim or some such thing. That tells me that I am disease free. Now, with this pandemic afoot, things are a bit more complicated and dire, and the need to know details is more important than ever. I thought perhaps someone here may have had the same questions/concerns. However, after reading through this thread, it seems that may not be the case. Thanks again for your reply. I will continue to monitor this thread via e-mail. Thanks for your work here! Have a great day and be safe!

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Hi, @seafire. First, thank you for your service to our country and for your continuing service of several years of donating blood so that others may live. Like you, as a sr with several chronic health issues, including chronic bronchitis, I have been self-quarantined for over 30 days. Blood donation was something I did regularly for a long time but stopped a yr. before the virus because of health issues.

I live in a much less populated area of TX. However, my close friend living in Queens fears leaving her condo because of health issues. I just want to salute your willingness and also your attempts to get more information from the NY Blood Center.

My friend is becoming increasingly alarmed about the huge delays between placing an online food delivery order and even making the list; when she does get the order placed, the wait time given has been over 30 days. She doesn't drive and her neighborhood grocers and mkts are closed. Are you experiencing something similar? Off topic I know but I am deeply concerned for you, her and all living in NYC and the other hotspots springing up in our country.

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@seafire
First I want to thank you for your military service. Also, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect.
I donate whole blood every 56 days. Platelets twice a month and plasma every 28 days. When I donate platelets they use an apheresis machine that removes the platelets and plasma and returns the red blood cells. Covid isn't transmitted through blood. As I understand it only transmittable diseases are tested for like
Hepatitis B & C
Syphilis
HIV 1 & 2 Antibody testing
Zika virus
West Nile virus, and a number of others. I believe West Nile is only tested in certain situations but I’m not sure.
The employees at the American Red Cross where I donate are checked every day for any sign of illness as are all the donors as you know. Do you donate at the Red Cross? Everyone there was wearing a face mask, I didn’t see anyone with a shield or a gown. Why are you concerned about them replacing your red blood cells and platlets? The Red Cross here in Central California don't have a problem with that vaccine. There is a waiting period for the live vaccine.
Jake

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@fiesty76

Hi, @seafire. First, thank you for your service to our country and for your continuing service of several years of donating blood so that others may live. Like you, as a sr with several chronic health issues, including chronic bronchitis, I have been self-quarantined for over 30 days. Blood donation was something I did regularly for a long time but stopped a yr. before the virus because of health issues.

I live in a much less populated area of TX. However, my close friend living in Queens fears leaving her condo because of health issues. I just want to salute your willingness and also your attempts to get more information from the NY Blood Center.

My friend is becoming increasingly alarmed about the huge delays between placing an online food delivery order and even making the list; when she does get the order placed, the wait time given has been over 30 days. She doesn't drive and her neighborhood grocers and mkts are closed. Are you experiencing something similar? Off topic I know but I am deeply concerned for you, her and all living in NYC and the other hotspots springing up in our country.

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Hi @fiesty76 On the topic of food: It's been a very big issue here. Local groceries are closed, and both Peapod and Fresh Direct have no delivery dates available. What I have done is go to their websites one minute past midnight day after day. Finally I was able to find one delivery slot 8 days out. On arrival, about 1/2 of my order arrived. Everything else was "Sold Out". I have repeated this a couple of times, and now have a months supply of food for me and the cats. I have Masks and gloves on order from Amazon, with delivery dates of May 24th! My biggest issue to date, after food, is getting my garbage out. The only way to the basement, where the garbage is disposed of is only accessible by the building elevator. Which, is small, only 5 foot square. So, I have been using creative methods of storing it till I can get some protective gear to safely take it out. I have been locked-in since March 8th, but the isolation is not an issue for me since I have isolated in similar fashion for years due to mental issues. What was an unhealthy mental condition has turned into an asset sorry to say. I am horribly dismayed and embarrassed at the total failure of my country's response to this fight.

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Mayo Clinic Radio just did a segment on testing with Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group. A timely segment for this discussion. Thought you'd all be interested.

There are two types of tests for COVID-19. The first type, a diagnostic test, is used to find out if you are actively infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. This test typically is done as a nasal swab. The second type of test is a serologic test to determine if you had a recent infection of SARS-CoV-2 and now have antibodies against the virus. This test is done through a blood sample.

Dr Poland explains the need for two different tests and how they will help move recovery from the pandemic forward.
Note: To practice safe social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, this interview was conducted using video conferencing. The sound and video quality are representative of the technology used.

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@seafire, Thank you foremost for your service to our country. I am so happy to learn of the two food sources you mention and will pass those along to my great friend living in Queens. She keeps receiving food order messages that say: not delivering to her mail zone.

I have learned so much about your fascinating city through our daily e-mails. Like you, she has received a few orders from Amazon for supplies and her wait, too, was long. She has to take the elevator down for her mail and for her garbage disposal so has been setting her alarm to go in the wee hours. Like you, she has reported that other than her main concern for food, she has found isolation less difficult than some because she also has health issues which have helped her adapt to more living in isolation than before.

Couldn't agree more with your sentiments that this deplorable situation, on all fronts and at every level, is beyond comprehension. If we as a nation learn nothing more from this, I pray that we will individually and collectively bombard by e-mails, all elected gov officials with e-mails that what has happened must not be allowed to stand, now or going forward.

Kudos and fervent best wishes to you and all those who are elderly, most vulnerable and doing their utmost to stay safe and well.

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I donated platelets and plasma yesterday. The American Red Cross is now participating in a
research study doing Covid antibody testing. Mine was negative.
Jake

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@jakedduck1, Thank you for your Red Cross donation. So many patients in need who will benefit! Hugs to you!

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I have not seen anything on Mayo's websites about whether masks are still needed when donating blood. The Red Cross has dropped the requirement. What about Mayo? I typically do platelets but find wearing a mask for that long to be rather unpleasant. I would like to get back to donating regularly. I have been fully vaccinated for some time.

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@dnarex

I have not seen anything on Mayo's websites about whether masks are still needed when donating blood. The Red Cross has dropped the requirement. What about Mayo? I typically do platelets but find wearing a mask for that long to be rather unpleasant. I would like to get back to donating regularly. I have been fully vaccinated for some time.

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Hi @dnarex Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. At this time all of the Mayo campuses still requiring the use of masks in every department for the health and safety of patients and staff.

Even with the vaccines, and especially with the Delta variant now making an appearance in the US, it is still vital to be vigilant to help protect each other and control the spread.

Here is a link to the current Covid protocol for all the campuses even though it says rochester on the link.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/covid-19/rochester

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