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.
And 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.
Heather Smith, organizer of the Redwood Falls blood drive, stated, “In these strange times I wanted let you know that our blood drives are still scheduled. The need for blood is always present, but in these uncertain times when so many drives have had to be canceled, we implore you to keep your appointments for our drive.”
The next Redwood Falls blood drive is still scheduled for Monday, April 13, and Tuesday, April 14, from 12:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the Redwood Area Community Center.
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
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.
Again, the next Redwood Falls blood drive is still scheduled for Monday, April 13, and Tuesday, April 14, from 12:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the Redwood Area Community Center. 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. Please go to www.redcrossblood.org
or call Heather Smith at 507-430-4695 to make an appointment today.