March 30 2020

Red Cross in Desperate Need of Blood Donations During COVID-19 Outbreak

By: Rich Hosford

During times of crisis many people feel helpless and have the desire to help out in some way. Even with social distancing there are ways to help those in your community and even in your own neighborhood. 


One simple thing is you can check in on your neighbors, ideally by phone or email but also by standing back from the door. This is especially important for any elderly neighbors. Find out if they are in need of anything and if you are a healthy person you can add that to your list for the next time you go to the store.


You can also give blood. The American Red Cross has put out a call for donations because many of their normal blood drives have been cancelled while the need for donations remains constant. 


“The American Red Cross is working to continue delivering our mission, including the collection of lifesaving blood, but we have had a staggering number of scheduled Red Cross blood drives cancelled as more workplaces, college campuses and other venues send people home and encourage social distancing,” said Kyle McWilliam-Lopez, Executive Director for the American Red Cross Northeast Chapter. “Disruptions to blood donations can lead to shortages and cause delays in essential medical care.”


However, people can still make donations by appointment and the Red Cross has put procedures in place to ensure they can do so safely. 


According to the Red Cross they only collect blood from healthy individuals and they are pre-screening all donors by checking their temperature before they enter a donation center. At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols including wearing gloves, routinely wiping down donor-touched areas, using sterile collection sets for every donation, and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub. They are also spacing out donation beds. 

If you would like to donate you can set up an appointment by visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.


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