Thank you so much for your interest in donating what is known as COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
Since there are no cures for COVID-19, medical providers are doing all they can help people who are sick with the novel coronavirus. Evidence has show that plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 may help people who are critically ill.
When we get sick, our bodies create antibodies to fight infections. People who have recovered, or “convalesced” from COVID-19, are able to donate their “convalescent plasma,” which contains antibodies that may help another person fight COVID-19.
UCHealth has already treated patients using this blood and is looking to identify potential donors of convalescent COVID-19 plasma to be able to treat more COVID-positive patients across the state.
COVID-19 convalescent plasma may only be collected from people who have recovered from COVID-19 if they are eligible to donate blood.
You must have:
If you suffered from a respiratory illness over the last six weeks and believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you can take an antibody test and you may be able to donate convalescent plasma. Learn more about getting an antibody test.
UCHealth is offering two types of COVID-19 testing. All testing is voluntary.
One type of test can tell you if you currently have the virus that causes COVID-19. This test requires a nose swab.
UCHealth also is offering an antibody test. This test can tell you if may have been exposed to COVID-19. This test requires a blood draw.
A nose-swab test can detect the virus that causes COVID-19 in someone who is sick now.
An antibody test can see if someone may have been exposed to COVID-19 and now has antibodies to the virus.
When we get infections, our bodies create proteins to fight infections. These are called antibodies.
It can take days or weeks for a person to develop antibodies.
Researchers don’t know yet how long antibodies to COVID-19 last or whether they protect people from getting sick in the future.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 now, a nose-swab test may be able determine if you are infected with COVID-19, the new coronavirus causing the pandemic. These signs include:
Also, some people who are not exhibiting any symptoms may be asked to get a COVID-19 test before returning to work.
Antibody tests can tell you if you have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. If you test positive and you have fully recovered from COVID-19, you might be able to donate what’s known as convalescent plasma for the treatment of patients who are currently sick with COVID-19. Click here to learn more about convalescent plasma.
Also, results from antibody tests might help medical experts understand how widely the new coronavirus has spread in our communities.
But, it’s important to know that a positive test result to an antibody test does not mean you are safe (immune) from getting COVID-19 in the future. Researchers are still working to understand how protective these antibodies to COVID-19 may be.
Since COVID-19 is such a new illness, medical experts are still learning how COVID-19 antibodies work. If you get a positive test result, that means you probably were exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.
But, a positive result does not mean you are immune or less likely to get COVID-19 in the future.
Even if your results from an antibody test are positive, you should still follow social distancing guidelines. These include:
If you learn that you have COVID-19, you should isolate yourself at home right away and contact your health care provider. You may be able to heal at home. But, you should get medical help right away if you are having serious problems like trouble breathing.
Yes, there are many commercial antibody tests found at drug stores, labs and at medical facilities. Many of these tests are not accurate and have not been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
UCHealth is only offering tests that our medical experts have tested and verified. UCHealth COVID-19 tests are high-quality, accurate, FDA-authorized tests and far exceed current FDA authorization requirements.
Be very careful about the type of antibody test you get and ask questions about the type of test you will be getting. UCHealth experts found that most antibody tests that only required a finger prick were not accurate. You will want an antibody test that:
The virus that causes COVID-19 is what’s known as a coronavirus. These viruses are very common, and some are not dangerous. A different type of coronavirus causes the common cold. An inaccurate antibody test might find antibodies to other common coronaviruses. If you get results from an inaccurate antibody test, you might wrongly believe you have antibodies to COVID-19 when, in fact, you have antibodies to one of the fare more common coronaviruses that people frequently get.
Regardless of your results from any antibody test, please do not assume that you are immune to COVID-19. This illness is serious and can cause people to become critically ill. Please take all precautions to protect yourself and others from getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.
Currently UCHealth is offering testing at select facilities. We expect to expand our list of testing facilities by June 1.
Currently test scheduling is done via My Health Connection, UCHealth’s free, convenient patient portal.
Many insurance providers will cover COVID-19 and antibody testing, but you should check on the details for your insurance plan. If you have not met the yearly deductible for your plan, you could be charged. And, for antibody testing, it’s also possible that the cost of the test itself may be covered, but that you will be charged for the blood draw.
Yes, you can pay out of pocket for testing. If you pay yourself, a nose swab to test for COVID-19 will cost $85 and an antibody test will cost $100.
No. You are welcome to get tested even if you are not a current UCHealth patient. You will need to sign up for a My Health Connection account to schedule a test and get your results.
You will get your results within a few days. You might get your results sooner depending on where you get tested.
Your test results are private. But researchers may use anonymous testing data to find how widely COVID-19 has spread throughout the community and to assist public health experts and government leaders as they try minimize the spread of COVID-19.
If you need medical advice, please contact your provider.
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