Ochsner Health Offers Free Antibody Test to Blood & Platelet Donors
Special incentive encourages donation during critical shortage
NEW ORLEANS – Beginning Friday, June 5, Ochsner Health is offering blood and platelet donors at participating Ochsner Blood Bank sites a free COVID-19 antibody test. This special incentive will run through September 30 to encourage the public to donate.
Ochsner blood banks, like blood banks across the nation, are currently experiencing a critical blood shortage. All blood types are needed, especially platelets and Type O red cells.
Antibody Testing and How it Works
A COVID-19 antibody test can determine if a person’s immune system has created antibodies in response to COVID-19. Presence of the antibody indicates the individual has been infected with COVID-19 in the past but is not guaranteed immunity or protection from future infection.
Because this virus is new and there are still many unknowns, there is not enough information at this time to determine what defines COVID-19 immunity and how long immunity may last.
During your blood donation, a small amount of the blood collected will be separately tested for COVID-19 antibodies. All participating donors will be notified via mail of the results. Note: To be eligible for the free COVID-19 antibody test, it must be a successful blood or platelet donation.
While the antibody testing is a step in the right direction, people should continue to follow CDC guidelines, including social distancing, wearing a mask in public and good hand hygiene practices. Individuals with a negative antibody test should be aware that they have not been infected by the virus or developed antibodies to COVID-19. If an individual were to test positive for antibodies, the same social practices should remain in place prior to testing as we continue to learn more about this virus.
Before You Donate:
- We encourage you to eat a healthy meal and drink water prior to donating.
- Individuals taking medication for high blood pressure or cholesterol CAN donate! All blood types are needed.
- Picture ID required.
Ochsner blood banks and blood drives participating in the antibody testing incentive can be found at www.ochsner.org/bloodbank. For more information or to make an appointment, call 504-842-3375.
About Ochsner Health
Ochsner Health is a system that delivers health to the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate. Ochsner Health is a not-for-profit committed to giving back to the communities it serves through preventative screenings, health and wellness resources and partnerships with innovative organizations that share our vision. Ochsner Health healed more than 876,000 people from across the globe in 2019, providing the latest medical breakthroughs and therapies, including digital medicine for chronic conditions and telehealth specialty services. Ochsner Health is a national leader, named the top hospital in Louisiana and a top children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report. As Louisiana’s leading healthcare educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually. Ochsner Health is innovating healthcare by investing in new technologies and research to make world-class care more accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner's team of more than 26,000 employees and 4,500 providers are working to reinvent the future of health and wellness in the region. To learn more about Ochsner Health, please visit www.ochsner.org. To transform your health, please visit www.ochsner.org/healthyyou.