Blood Donations During COVID-19

A Red Cross blood donor gives blood during the COVID-19 outbreak at the Mount Hope Blood Donation Center.

The American Red Cross is asking for more blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused earlier this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Red Cross, hospital demand for blood products in recent weeks has grown by 30% after sharply declining in early April amid this rapidly changing and complex public health crisis. 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.

All those who come to give through May 31 will receive a special Red Cross T-shirt by mail, while supplies last. And thanks to Amazon, all those who come to give June 1 through 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,” senior vice president of Red Cross Blood Services Paul Sullivan said. “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.”

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.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions have been implemented to ensure the health of all those in attendance.

Temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff are required at all donation locations.

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.

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.

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