Blood donation

Blood Assurance announced Monday that the blood bank will resume COVID-19 antibody testing for donors after suspending the free service last April due to the dwindling number of COVID-19 cases.

Those who donate blood at any Blood Assurance location, including their new brick-and-motor location in Cool Springs, will have the option to be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Donors will be notified of the results of the tests within two weeks.

"Blood Assurance believes it is important to offer COVID-19 antibody testing to community blood donors,” said Liz Culler, chief medical director of Blood Assurance. “Donors who have antibodies to COVID-19 and who are eligible to donate plasma can potentially save the lives of patients who are overwhelming our hospitals.”

Blood Assurance is currently the only blood bank in Middle Tennessee offering antibody testing.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 years old with parental consent, and weigh 110 pounds or more. Prior to donating, donors are also asked to drink plenty of fluids, to avoid caffeine and to eat a meal rich in iron.

To schedule an appointment or find a donor center or mobile drive, those interested are encouraged to visit https://www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, call (800)962-0628, or text ‘BAGIVE’ to 999777.