A week or so ago we alerted you the Red Cross is desperately seeking blood donors, and that the Redwood Falls blood drive is still set to happen on April 13 and 14.
In the past month, nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, the Red Cross has had 86,000 fewer blood donations than usual at this time of year. That has been a disaster for patients across the nation needing blood because of accidents or surgeries. More than 80 percent of the blood the Red Cross collects comes from drives such as the ones that have been canceled.
The word got out, the Redwood area community pulled together, and on Thursday, April 9, Heather Smith, organizer of the Redwood Falls blood drive, contacted KLGR to say the appointment book for the whole blood donations is filled.
However, according to Smith, there are still openings in the appointment book available for people who donate what are called “Power Reds”, or “Double Reds”. These are similar to whole blood donations, except a special machine is used to allow you to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation while returning your plasma and platelets to you.
Smith added that anyone who has an O-type blood or a negative blood type is especially needed now.
If you are capable of doing a “double red” donation, or have an O-type or negative blood type and would like to donate at the April 13 and 14 Redwood Falls blood drive, please go to www.redcrossblood.org
or call Heather Smith at 507-430-4695 to make an appointment today.
There is no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transfusion transmission for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus worldwide.To keep everyone as safe as possible, the Redwood Falls Red Cross blood drive this month will not be accepting walk-in appointments to minimize waiting.
The Red Cross has implemented new measures to ensure blood drives and donation centers are even safer for donors and staff, including:
- Checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy
- Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process
- Spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood donors, and
- Increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment.
At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees already follow thorough safety protocols to help prevent the spread of any type of infection, including:
- Wearing gloves and changing gloves with each donor
- Routinely wiping down donor-touched areas
- Using sterile collection sets for every donation, and
- Preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub