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American Red Cross: Blood donation remains essential amid COVID-19 Pandemic

American Red CrossNashville, TN – A year ago, many things in the world paused due to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. But the need for blood never stopped. Today blood donations are just as essential, and the American Red Cross urges individuals who are healthy to make an appointment to donate blood [1].

Zachary Sterbens gives a Power Red donation at the Red Cross Salt Lake City Blood Donation Center. He received a blood transfusion as a baby and has been donating for 5 years. (Amanda Romney/American Red Cross)
Zachary Sterbens gives a Power Red donation at the Red Cross Salt Lake City Blood Donation Center. He received a blood transfusion as a baby and has been donating for 5 years. (Amanda Romney/American Red Cross)

For patients in the emergency room, fighting cancer or coping with a life-threatening illness, help can’t wait.

Their health is reliant on the selfless generosity of blood donors.

However, the blood supply continues to face challenges from the ongoing pandemic and extreme winter weather that impacted much of the U.S. last month.

More donors, especially those with type O blood, are needed now to ensure that patients have lifesaving blood products available for emergencies and everyday medical treatments.

Schedule a blood donation appointment by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App [2], visiting RedCrossBlood.org [3], calling 1.800.RED CROSS (1.800.733.2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

March is Red Cross Month, and the Red Cross is celebrating blood, platelet, and plasma donors for stepping up to meet the constant need for blood amid the pandemic. In thanks for being a vital part of the organization’s lifesaving mission, all who come to give March 15th-26th will receive an exclusive Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Important COVID-19 information for donors

The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet, and plasma donations for COVID-19 Coronavirus antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 Coronavirus symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccine.

Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 Coronavirus antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions.

Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 Coronavirus survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for high levels of COVID-19 Coronavirus antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 Coronavirus patients. 

COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity.

 


 

The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 Coronavirus postpone donation.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions  [5]– including temperature checks, social distancing, and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect 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 March 15th-31st

Kentucky

Todd County

Elkton

3/18/2021: 8:30am-1:30pm, Todd Central High School, 806 South Main Street

Tennessee

Dickson County

Dickson

3/15/2021: 10:00am-2:00pm, Office Depot, 415 Highway 46 South

3/23/2021: 2:00pm-6:00pm, Dickson County Adult Education Center, 220 McLemore Street

 


 

Montgomery

Clarksville

3/15/2021: 10:30am-4:30pm, American Red Cross, 1760 Madison Street

3/17/2021: 10:30am-4:30pm, American Red Cross, 1760 Madison Street

3/22/2021: 10:30am-4:30pm, American Red Cross, 1760 Madison Street

3/24/2021: 10:30am-4:30pm, American Red Cross, 1760 Madison Street

3/24/2021: 3:00pm-7:00pm, Grace Church of the Nazarene, 3135 Trenton Road

3/25/2021: 12:00pm-6:00pm, Governor’s Square Mall, 2801 Wilma Rudolph Boulevard

3/29/2021: 10:30am-4:30pm, American Red Cross, 1760 Madison Street

3/30/2021: 9:30am-1:30pm, Veteran’s Plaza – William O. Beach Civic Hall, 350 Pagaent Lane

3/31/2021: 10:30am-4:30pm, American Red Cross, 1760 Madison Street

About Blood Donation

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit ?RedCrossBlood.org [7], call 1.800.RED CROSS (1.800.733.2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. 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 [9]. 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 [10] or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.

For more information, please visit redcross.org [11] or cruzrojaamericana.org [12], or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross [13].