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  • Blood drive to provide COVID-19 antibody testing

    By Robbie McKay Lincoln News • July 9, 2020

    MILLINOCKET – By participating in a blood drive this Friday, area residents could be taking part in a win/win/win situation.

    The American Red Cross will be holding a blood drive this Friday, July 10 from 1-6 p.m. at St. Peter’s Parish located at 58 Cedar Street in East Millinocket. Part of the testing prior to the actual procedure (for a limited time) includes a test for COVID-19 antibodies.

    The Federal Drug Administration is testing convalescent plasma that is found in blood of people who have had the virus, even if they were not aware that a sickness they had was in fact, Covid-19. The Red Cross website explains more in detail:

    “Some information suggests that convalescent plasma could help some coronavirus patients – especially those who are seriously ill. Since plasma transfusions are generally safe for most patients, the FDA announced an initiative to investigate this as a treatment option. The American Red Cross is supportive of the FDA’s efforts and is committed to assisting with plasma collections from carefully-screened recovered COVID-19 patients to enable rapid access to treatment for the most seriously ill patients.”

    Standard safety precautions will be followed at the donation site. All donors are required to wear a mask, practice social distancing, and pay a temperature check that will be done before entering the site which also will be set up following CDC guidelines. It is also strongly suggested that people call the Red Cross in advance to set up an appointment. Emily Weaver of the Red Cross explained.

    “Appointments are not necessarily required, but they are HIGHLY encouraged,” she said. “Scheduling an appointment ensures that you are guaranteed a time to donate. If someone walks-in, they will only be able to donate if there just so happens to be an opening at that time,” Weaver said. People from all areas in the Lincoln/Katahdin region can make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or visiting RedCrossBlood.org and entering KATAHDIN to check for openings as well.

    For those wondering if they have had the virus, the opportunity to potentially find out for sure could be a great motivator to donate blood, even for those who have never donated before. Results of the tests usually take 7-10 days to return.

    Mark your calendar!  The next Katahdin Region blood drives are scheduled for
    Friday Sept. 4th and Friday Nov. 6th.


    About Millinocket Regional Hospital
    Millinocket Regional Hospital (MRH) is a 25 bed Critical Access Hospital nestled at the base of Baxter State Park that provides vital healthcare services to those who live, work and play in the Katahdin Region. Beyond the friendly staff and award-winning patient care, MRH provides an impressive range of specialty and general services; with a recent expansion resulting in the addition of eight new specialties and a Walk-In Care facility. In 2018, MRH was awarded the Press Ganey ‘Guardian of Excellence Award’ for exceptional patient experience; a nationally-recognized symbol of achievement for hospitals who consistently perform within the top 5%. Providing jobs to approximately 250 people, MRH is the largest employer in the Katahdin Region and a crucial economic driver within its community.

    For more information, please visit www.mrhme.org or www.facebook.com/MillinocketRegionalHospital