As the world marks three months since this coronavirus was declared a pandemic, the American Red Cross recognizes and celebrates blood and platelet donors who have rolled up a sleeve to help patients during this crisis.
Many things have changed since March – we constantly wash our hands, we stay socially distant and we wear face coverings. The process for blood donation has also adapted to ensure we are protecting our donors and staff during this crisis. But one thing has not changed, and that is the generosity of our selfless donors. Even during this unprecedented time, blood donors have risen to the challenge to help save a life.
As we mark World Blood Donor Day on June 14, the Red Cross applauds our blood, platelet and plasma donors who have shared their health to provide hope to patients in their time of need.
The need for blood is constant, and the Red Cross needs the help of our dedicated donors today and in the days ahead as the blood supply has once again fallen to critical levels. Blood donations are urgently needed right now to help prevent a summer shortage as hospitals resume all surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused earlier this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to remember that blood is perishable and cannot be stockpiled.
If you are feeling well, please make an appointment to give by using the 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.
Thanks to our generous supporter, Amazon, all those who come to give through June 30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.
Giving Blood During Coronavirus
Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at Red Cross blood drives and donation centers and are required to wear a face covering or mask while there in alignment with new CDC public guidance.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control. To ensure the health of staff and donors, precautions include:
- Checking temperatures 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.
- Following social distancing between donors including entry, donation and refreshment areas.
- Ensuring face masks or coverings are worn by both staff and donors.
- Routinely disinfecting surfaces, equipment and donor-touched areas.
- Wearing gloves and changing gloves often.
- Using sterile collection sets and an aseptic scrub for every donation.
Learn more about COVID-19 blood donation safety protocols.
In most states, individuals who are 17 years of age (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.