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Red Cross testing for Covid antibodies

Published: Dec. 16, 2020 at 10:29 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Right now the Red Cross needs blood, which you’re probably used to hearing because the organization needs blood a lot. If you donate, you can save up to three lives, but if you donate right now, you may find out you can help even more.

The thought of donating blood can make some people a little queasy, but it can also do a lot of good. Red Cross Blood Services Executive, Michelle Jantz says, on its own blood is a much-needed commodity.

“Every two minutes someone in the United States needs blood,” Jantz said.

People who donate now, during the Coronavirus pandemic, will have their blood tested to see if it contains the antibodies that help fight Covid-19.

“We are all searching for ways to treat people who are suffering from the Coronavirus and being able to give a real literally a piece of yourself, and that it can be used to help treat someone who’s suffering,” Jantz said.

So, if you’ve thought about getting an antibody test, the Red Cross will do that for you, and it can make a big difference. Plus, it will make Michelle Jantz really happy.

“Well, you just might make me cry. But I have a really just admiration for people who give blood,” she said.

Two different volunteers, who had Covid-19 antibodies in their blood, agreed to let Eyewitness News interview them while they donated their plasma. After a preliminary evaluation, though, neither was an eligible candidate to donate. Just having the antibodies isn’t enough. Other health factors like the size of a person’s veins or high blood pressure may prevent a person from donating. So, that much-needed plasma is in high demand...and it could give a complete stranger a new lease on life.

“It is a time of giving in a time where we can count our blessings and it is a very difficult time in our country right now,” Jantz said. “And I just am always amazed every day, the number of people that come out and open their hearts, and literally open their veins and help give someone else, another holiday. Another birthday, another experience with their kids their family, their friends, their pets, whatever it might be.”

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