NBC4: Blood Donations Are Still Needed During COVID-19 Outbreak
During the COVID-19 outbreak, one thing that definitely doesn't stop is the need for blood donations. With schools closed and large gatherings discouraged, many blood drives have been cancelled. The American Red Cross says that nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives from around the county have been cancelled, resulting in about 86,000 less blood donations than normal.
“Even in this uncertain time of the COVID-19 outbreak, patients locally and around the country are still in need of blood every day," said Shay O'Mara, MD, FACS, OhioHealth Trauma System Chief. "This can be life saving for trauma patients, cancer patients, and new mothers, to name a few cases. We and our patients rely upon the Red Cross for the help that results in survival. Even now, donating is still a safe process and I know the Red Cross is upholding the highest safety precautions for you.”
In a news release, the Red Cross shared that they have implemented new measures to ensure blood drives and donation centers are even safer for donors and staff, including:
- Checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy.
- Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process.
- Spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood donors.
- Increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment.
At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees already follow thorough safety protocols to help prevent the spread of any type of infection, including:
- Wearing gloves and changing gloves with each donor.
- Routinely wiping down donor-touched areas.
- Using sterile collection sets for every donation.
- Preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub.
There is no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transfusion transmission for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus worldwide.In
The Red Cross says that individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood with the Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.