Blood center offering free covid-19 antibody tests to those who donate

Versiti Blood Donation Center is kicking off its first blood drive of the year. It'll be held at the new West Lafayette " Sonya Margerum" City Hall building.

Posted: Jan 13, 2021 6:58 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- A local blood bank is seeking donors as the need for blood continues. Versiti Blood Center is hosting a blood drive at the new West Lafayette City Hall building on Thursday, Jan. 14.

A Versiti blood bank vehicle will be parked outside the new Margerum building from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m. Organizers are hoping for a decent turnout as Covid-19 has only amplified the importance of donating.

Five-hundred and fifty blood donations are needed per day to help patients just in Indiana. Versiti's blood donations go to more than 80 hospitals across the state, including right here in Tippecanoe County.

Anyone with good health ages 16 or older can participate. People who have recovered from Covid-19 are especially encouraged to donate. This blood has shown proof in helping improve symptoms in those hospitalized with Covid.

Versiti leader Kelli Cornelius said one person has the power to save at least three lives.

"When you donate whole blood, you're saving three lives, there's potential for your red cells to go to one patient, your plasma to go to another, and your platelets to go to another patient," said Cornelius.

She said this pandemic has only amplified the need for blood giving.

"People are still getting in car accidents, people still have cancer, people still have organ transplants and things like that, that are happening and all of those things require blood transfusions, so the need for blood does not go away just because there's a pandemic," said Cornelius.

Versiti will be administering free Covid-19 antibody tests to those who donate. Results take about four weeks to receive. These tests can typically cost anywhere from $40 to $50.

They're asking people to register before showing up in order to maintain social-distancing and reduce wait time. Click here to register.
Versiti will also be heading to 3rd Street in downtown Lafayette later that afternoon. They'll be there from 1 to 4 p.m.

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