LifeStream blood drive provides COVID-19 antibody testing

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LifeStream employee, Bernadette Cisneros, collects blood from Joshua Lewis who is an employee at Fort Irwin.
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FORT IRWIN, Calif. – LifeStream Blood Bank had nearly two dozen new, first-time donors during their blood drive at the Sandy Basin Community Center on July 22. Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP), the official blood program of United States military, says the donations serve as a vital link to military service members and their families worldwide.

The Blood Drive kicked off at ten in the morning and before the initial set up was even complete, there were soldiers and family members waiting in line to have blood drawn. Organizers said the event produced 46 donors that registered, three donors were deferred, 43 units collected and they also registered 22 first-time donors.

Robert Blomker, LifeStream’s regional development coordinator, said implementing an online registration cut down on the amount of wait time significantly when going through the initial process of signing up.

One of the donors said he felt it was his responsibility to give.

“It’s my civic duty to give blood and help the next person in, sometimes, life-saving measures, Joshua Lewis said.

Adam Curry was the manager on site and greeted everyone at the door.

“It’s important that even in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic that’s occurring, that we continue to give blood because it’s needed now more than ever.”

COVID-19 antibody testing is also now available at LifeStream’s blood drives and all successful blood donations were also tested for antibodies. Participants received results two weeks after donating. Information about the antibody testing can be seen at Lstream.org/covid-19/antibodytesting/.

The LifeStream Blood Bank blood drive occurs monthly at various locations across Fort Irwin. The next event is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 19 from 10a.m. – 6p.m.

To maintain social distancing, appointments are strongly recommended. Walk-ins are welcome, but wait times may be lengthy. Face coverings are required. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids and bring photo ID with proof of age. Donors under the age of 17 must bring a signed LifeStream parental consent form. For appointments, call 800-879-4484 or visit LStream.org

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