Arkansas Blood Institute Testing Blood Donations for COVID-19 Antibodies

Arkansas Blood Institute announced will provide free COVID-19 antibody tests for all blood donors eighteen and older. Arkansas Blood Institute is the first blood center in the state to offer COVID-19 antibody screening service to its donors.

This testing initiative, provided at all donor centers and mobile blood drives, comes in the wake of an immediate need for blood donations due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations. Healthy donors are urged to give blood, and appointments are encouraged to allow for recommended social distancing. Donors are also required to wear masks. If you do not have one, we will provide one for you.

Donors will receive information at the time of their donation regarding testing results notification. Donors may choose to be notified of their result by telehealth consult by Cura or its authorized agents, or they can access their result online at yourbloodinstitute.org (provided the donation was within the last 90 days). Please call 877-340-8777 or email customerservice@obi.org if you have a question about your result.

Arkansas Blood Institute’s medical laboratory technicians will test each blood sample. A tube will be drawn at the time of donation. Donors may opt out of the antibody test.*

“Our generous donors are answering the call to donate – coming out in force when the need for blood is great and ensuring that no patient goes without crucial transfusion care,” said John Armitage, president & CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “The antibody tests are a natural step in our commitment to the health of our lifesaving donors, and we are also very eager to help our state reopen medically and economically.”

Arkansas Blood Institute’s donor center and mobile blood drives have instituted additional cleaning methods, decontaminating work and common areas and equipment frequently. In addition, donor centers and mobile blood drives have been adapted to allow for social distancing. All phlebotomy staff will wear masks. Staff members and donors will also have their temperatures taken before starting work or entering the facility. 

Arkansas Blood Institute is following safety recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Arkansas Blood Institute is committed to maintaining the safest standards for blood collection, testing and transfusion.

Arkansas Blood Institute supports the inventory for patients in more than 40 hospitals across the state. Appointments can be made by calling 1-877-340-8777, or clicking here to find a blood drive near you.

Or you can stop by one of our donor centers:
Fort Smith
Hot Springs
Little Rock
North Little Rock
Russellville

*To give blood, 16-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds. Must be 18 or older to receive antibody test. This test has not been reviewed by the FDA and is not intended for diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19.  Donors ages 16 or 17-years old need parental consent to be screened for COVID-19 antibodies and are not eligible to donate convalescent plasma. Please download the antibody screening consent form here. This test has not been FDA cleared or approved. It has been authorized by the FDA under an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for use by authorized laboratories. The test has been authorized only for the detection of the IgG antibody against SARS-CoV-2, not for any other viruses or pathogens. Blood drives will be managed according to CDC safety recommendations. Test results will be made available post-donation.

Bob Grant