Blood donations still necessary to fill patient needs

Lifestyle
June 9, 2020

The American Red Cross is still calling for blood donations to prevent blood shortages as hospitals continue to resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that have been temporarily paused since earlier this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate in the weeks and months ahead by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

In recent weeks, hospital demand for blood products has been growing, while at the same time, blood drives continue to be canceled as many businesses and community organizations remain closed. Donors are needed to make and keep scheduled appointments to help meet the current need.

Thanks to Amazon, all those who come to give through June 30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card via email.

“Blood donors have played a vital role in the lives of patients who have needed lifesaving transfusions during this pandemic, and patients continue to depend on donors each and every day,” said Paul Sullivan, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “The Red Cross appreciates the support of those who rolled up a sleeve to give in recent months, but the need doesn’t stop. We need the public’s help to avoid another blood shortage this summer.”

It’s important to remember that red blood cells must be transfused within 42 days of donation and platelets within just five days. So, they must constantly be replenished. There is no known end date in this fight against coronavirus, and the Red Cross urgently needs the help of donors and blood drive hosts to ensure blood products are readily available for patients.

Blood drive safety precautions: Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to ensure the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities are listed below.

Clinton County
June 15, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Hoffman Village Hall, 110 East Park Avenue, Hoffman.
June 16, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Dairy Queen, 910 12th Street, Carlyle.
June 16, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 325 South Jefferson, Trenton.
June 18, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Knights of Columbus, 1471 Fairfax Street, Carlyle.
Fayette County
June 10, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fayette Co. Health Dept., 416 W. Edwards, Vandalia.
June 15, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Mary Church Hall, Route 40, Saint Elmo.

Jefferson County
June 12, 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Roadhouse Harley-Davidson, 205 N. 44th Street, Mt. Vernon.
June 13, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Roadhouse Harley-Davidson, 205 N. 44th Street, Mt. Vernon.
June 17, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Rolland Lewis Community Building, South 27th Street, Mt. Vernon.
June 19, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Family Life Church, 2901 Veterans Memorial Drive, Mt. Vernon.
June 19, : 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., Mount Vernon Health Care Center, 5 Doctors Park Rd., Mt. Vernon.

Marion County
June 17, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., American Legion Post 543, North Washington, Patoka.
June 17, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Building Salem, 416 Oglesby, Salem.
June 19, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., Central City Lions Shelter, 310 S. Morrison St., Central City.
June 19, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 413 East Broadway, Centralia.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

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