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The Blood Center implements Zika testing following FDA's guidance

Posted by Paul Adams on October 7, 2016 2:35 PM


New Orleans –The Blood Center began testing all blood donations for the Zika virus Sept. 23 following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's revised guidance recommending universal testing of donated Whole Blood and blood components for Zika in the U.S. and its territories. As the only laboratory in Louisiana conducting Zika virus testing of blood donations for various collection entities, The Blood Center operates one of six Roche Diagnostics testing sites in the United States operating under an Investigational New Drug Protocol approved by the FDA.  

The FDA’s mandate in late August requires all donated blood and blood components to undergo Zika testing for the virus as a precautionary public safety measure. Louisiana, Mississippi and nine additional states were required to start testing no later than Sept. 23 with all remaining states implementing the test no later than Nov. 18.

In order to maintain a healthy and stable community blood supply, The Blood Center must collect between 300 to 350 pints of blood every day.  Donating blood is safe, simple and easy and just one pint can help to save up to three lives.

Up to 60% of the population is eligible to donate blood, but only 5% actually do.  Donating blood is safe, simple and easy and just one pint can help to save up to three lives. Donors must be in good health, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be at least 17 years of age to donate blood. Sixteen year olds are now eligible to donate; they must weigh at least 130 pounds and have a signed TBC parental consent form.  The entire donation process takes less than an hour.

The Blood Center is a non-profit community service organization dedicated to providing blood and blood components to patients throughout Southern Louisiana and Southern Mississippi. For more information on blood donation, please call (800) 86-BLOOD or visit TheBloodCenter.org. The Blood Center be found on social media at @TheBloodCenter.