World Blood Day 2020 | June 14

The World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are urging everyone to resume blood donations and particularly, plasma donations in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Our blood banks are in urgent need of donations. BLOOD CENTERS ARE OPEN! They are taking extra precautionary measures to ensure your safety while donating blood.  You could possibly be saving a life.

I did not realize that there were a tremendous number of yearly blood drives that were canceled due to Covid-19. We simply have to keep our hospital supplies of blood safe and accessible. 

The CDC is urging people that are well to donate blood. The blood centers have implemented extreme measures to protect you. Social distancing, and donation chairs are spaced six feet apart, as well as advance appointments to maximize your personal protection. Temperature checks, as well as rigorous questioning prior to being admitted to the facilities are occurring.

Some of the questions you will be asked:

Have you had a fever or any other COVID-19 symptoms? Symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Have you been around someone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days?

If you have doubts as to whether or not you are a donation candidate, please call your local blood bank as soon as possible and discuss your personal situation with the staff.

If you are recovered from COVID-19 for 14 days, and have tested negative, you can now do something to help in this pandemic. Be advised, that you will be required to present the appropriate paperwork showing that you have tested negative from COVID-19.

Convalescent Plasma is plasma that contains antibodies. Once you donate, the plasma is then transfused into a sick person, hoping to boost their immune system and assist in recovery from this deadly disease. Plasma is desperately needed right now.

It is important to understand that even if we have a stable blood supply, that situation is subject to change quickly. This is due to the short shelf life of blood supplies which vary between blood, plasma, etc. That is why it is vital to help keep quality-assured blood readily available in our society. It could be a family member or friend that needs immediate blood.

As our communities reopen, more of us are on the road. Accidents are going to occur more frequently. As it is, summertime is responsible for an increase in general accidents.

Blood donation centers are HIGHLY regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prior to COVID-19, these facilities were highly regulated, and are even more prepared now in light of the current pandemic. There are stringent cleaning requirements for infection control in place and being monitored continuously.

Another interesting fact you may not realize, is that the majority of blood donations in this country have traditionally come from our elderly population. For many years, blood donation centers have reached out to the younger generations in the hope of increasing much needed blood supplies. Blood drives are a great platform for bringing in different age groups of people. The trick though, is to keep the donations going for more than that initial donation. It is a never-ending battle for the workers desperately trying to do an extremely difficult job during the best of times. Now, having to contend with fear of donation caused by this pandemic has exponentially increased that difficulty. 

This is actually something you can do that ABSOLUTELY helps in this time of crisis. 

Because of this fear of donation, blood drives have been canceled, creating a significant increase in demand. 

You should also be aware that this Coronavirus cannot be spread through blood.  Not by giving or receiving it. The blood donor centers are providing a safe environment for you to step up and do your part to contribute back to your society during these unprecedented times.

Be safe! Be pro-active! And remember…… MUST continue to protect yourself and others until a vaccine is found to combat this deadly disease.

If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

Martin Luther King, Jr