Tag: blood

U.S. companies, labs rush to produce blood test for coronavirus immunity

U.S. companies, labs rush to produce blood test for coronavirus immunity

By Chad Terhune, Allison Martell and Julie Steenhuysen

(Reuters) – As the United States works overtime to screen thousands for the novel coronavirus, a new blood test offers the chance to find out who may have immunity – a potential game changer in the battle to contain infections and get the economy back on track.

Several academic laboratories and medical companies are rushing to produce these blood tests, which can quickly identify disease-fighting antibodies in people who already have been infected but may have had mild symptoms or none at all. This is different from the current, sometimes hard-to-come-by diagnostic tests that draw on a nasal swab to confirm active infection.

“Ultimately, this (antibody test) might help us figure out who can get the country back to normal,” Florian Krammer, a professor in vaccinology at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, told Reuters. “People who are immune could be the

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I desperately needed a blood transfusion while delivering my daughter. As blood blanks face coronavirus-driven shortages, donating has never been more crucial.

I desperately needed a blood transfusion while delivering my daughter. As blood blanks face coronavirus-driven shortages, donating has never been more crucial.

blood
blood

Getty Images/Joern Pollex

  • I recently learned firsthand the importance of donating blood when I had to have an emergency transfusion after the birth of my daughter.

  • The United States is suddenly facing a severe blood shortage amid the cancellation of tens of thousands of blood drives due to the coronavirus.

  • Healthy, eligible Americans can still give blood at donation centers across the country. Those who do are performing a critical civic duty, and making a real difference at a time when so many feel helpless.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Four weeks ago, the delivery of my daughter turned nightmarish when I started to bleed in the recovery room. I was just beginning to get my bearings following an unplanned cesarean section when I felt a gush of blood, and then another. In an unusual complication, my uterus failed to contract.

In minutes, I was surrounded by a

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US faces blood shortage as donation sites shutter

US faces blood shortage as donation sites shutter

<span>Photograph: Karen Ducey/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

As the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the US, a dangerous blood shortage threatens to create another public health crisis – with one medical director warning: “This could kill our patients.”

Coronavirus control methods mandate social distancing that has ranged from banning in-person seating in restaurants to closing schools to issuing shelter-in-place orders. Many places where blood donation might take place – such as campuses and libraries – are presently shuttered.

The result has been a disaster for blood donation as the medical sector finds its blood supplies running out.

The American Red Cross said that as of 19 March, more than 5,000 of its blood drives were canceled across the US over coronavirus concerns – resulting in approximately 170,000 fewer donations. More than 80% of donated blood collected from the Red Cross is from drives at places closed for social distancing: workplaces, schools, and college campuses.

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