Raised hands blood donationAs researchers all over the world continue efforts learn more about the coronavirus and its resulting disease, COVID-19, the Indiana Biobank is offering a new opportunity for the public to help – by donating blood.

The Indiana University School of Medicine is asking all Indiana residents who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate blood for research, which will help improve testing, develop treatments and better understand the resulting health complications from the disease. Blood samples will be stored at the Indiana Biobank, where donations will be deidentified, linked to health data and made available to approved researchers for testing.

Along with Indiana Biobank staff efforts, one Indiana University faculty member is leading the call for volunteers by sharing his own experience, Indiana University School of Medicine Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Brandon Oberlin, PhD, contracted COVID-19 himself, becoming ill from the virus in spite of cautious behavior and closing of his lab.

“I lost my sense of smell for five days and knew I had it. My experience shows how highly contagious this disease is.” – Brandon Oberlin

So as a scientist, when he heard about the Indiana Biobank’s efforts to collect blood from recovered COVID-19 patients, he knew he had to join the fight.

“As a research scientist, I know how important data collection is; the more data we have, the more we will learn, and the answers will come more quickly. Like myself, I want everyone in Indiana who was COVID-19 positive and has recovered, which is now over 10,000 Hoosiers, to donate blood.”

Hear more from Brandon
in this video:

This study is open to adults and children, and any member of the Indiana public who has recovered from COVID-19. For purposes of this study, “recovered” is defined as 28 days symptom free, past the first day he or she had no symptoms or, are symptom free and can provide a confirmatory negative test that was done via a nasal or oral swab.

If a person chooses to donate blood, they will be consented into this study over the phone. A blood draw will then be scheduled at a convenient time and the volunteer will be asked to come into the Clinical Research Center located at University Hospital. The visit shouldn’t take any longer than a maximum of 30 minutes and parking will be complimentary. Volunteers will be asked to contribute 42.5 milliliters of blood, which is just under 3 tablespoons. Go here to learn more about the study and how to participate.

If you’d like to receive messages and updates on new COVID-19 volunteer opportunities as they become available, please go here and complete the form – and also your volunteer profile!