September 24, 2020

Blood drives continue to meet critical need; antibody testing available

The American Red Cross continues to face blood shortages due to blood drive cancellations during the coronavirus pandemic. To help, the American Red Cross is holding regular blood drives at Vanderbilt University Medical Center locations.

“The need for blood donations persists through the coronavirus pandemic. Caring for the unique population of patients we serve, especially those who are traumatically injured, means VUMC is Middle Tennessee’s largest consumer of blood and blood products from the American Red Cross. If you are able to donate, we would appreciate your help,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy CEO and Chief Health System Officer.   

To schedule an appointment for drives at Light Hall, go to redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code "Vandy19" or visit the sign-up link. 

For drives at One Hundred Oaks, go to redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code "VUMC" or visit this sign-up link.

It's possible to streamline your donation with an online pre-donation reading and health history on donation day. 

COVID-19 antibody testing

For a limited time, the American Red Cross is testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to this coronavirus.

Antibody testing will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Donations will be tested using samples pulled at the time of donation and sent to a testing laboratory where they will also undergo routine infectious disease testing. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity.

COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within 7-10 days in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. The test has been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Blood donation is safe to do and an essential activity

The American Red Cross understands public health concerns regarding donating blood during the COVID-19 pandemic but wants to stress that donating blood is a safe process and that Red Cross blood drives have the highest safety standards. American Red Cross blood drives are essential and directly support clinical AND other emergency services remaining open, including for trauma and oncology patients. Over 6,000 blood drives and 200,000 donations have been cancelled recently, creating a serious shortage. It is safe to donate at this time. 

Upcoming dates and times for Red Cross blood drives on the main VUMC campus and at One Hundred Oaks:

Date Time Location
9/24/2020 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Light Hall 
9/25/2020 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Light Hall 
9/29/2020 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Light Hall 
10/1/2020 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Light Hall 
10/2/2020 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Light Hall 
10/5/2020 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  One Hundred Oaks
10/6/2020 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Light Hall 
10/8/2020 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Light Hall