The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as hospitals resume surgeries and treatments that were paused because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recently, hospital demand for blood products has grown by 30 percent after declining in early April amid the public health crisis. At the same time, blood drives continue to be canceled, as many businesses and community organizations remain closed, according to a release from the Red Cross.
Donors are needed to help meet the current need. All those who give in June will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card via email. Details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together .
“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.”
Red blood cells must be transfused within 42 days of donation and platelets within five days, so they must constantly be replenished, according to the release.
“There is no known end date in the fight against COVID-19, and the Red Cross needs the help of donors and blood drive hosts to ensure blood products are readily available for patients,” according to the release.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center is following standards for safety and infection control. There are also additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – 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 the 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 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
There are several planned blood drives in Coweta County this month, including:
- Thursday, June 4, Asa M. Powell Expo Center, 197 Temple Ave., Newnan, noon to 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, June 9, Southwest Christian Church, 3836 Highway 29, Newnan, 2-7 p.m.
- Friday, June 12, St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, 3 Village Road, Newnan, 2-7 p.m.
- Monday, June 15, Newnan Church of Christ, 2675 Highway 34 E., Newnan, 2-7 p.m.
- Tuesday, June 16, Asa M. Powell Expo Center, 197 Temple Ave., Newnan, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Monday, June 22, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 576 Roscoe Road, Newnan, 1:30-6:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, June 24, SouthCrest Church, 365 International Blvd., Newnan, 1-6 p.m.
- Thursday, June 25, Legacy Christian Church, 1150 Rockaway Road, Senoia, 1-6 p.m.
- Friday, June 26, Newnan City Church, 17 1st Ave., Newnan, 2-7 p.m.
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card, 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.