Red Cross – Blood Donors Urgently Needed
Posted by American Red Cross on March 17, 2020
With the recent outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continuing to spread in the U.S., we recognize that you may be concerned about the health and safety of your blood donors. We want to assure you, we are closely monitoring the situation and are focused on the safety of our donors, recipients, volunteers, staff and the blood supply. It is important for you to be aware of the precautionary steps in our response to this situation as it will help provide you with peace of mind for your next blood drive.
Blood donation is a safe process, and people should not hesitate to give and receive blood. At each blood drive, Red Cross employees follow thorough extensive safety protocols. In addition to our standard procedures, you will notice the following at your local blood drive:
Increased Educational Materials
- Donor educational materials on COVID-19.
- Stop sign at entrances to avert ineligible donors from presenting.
Pre-Donation Donor Temperature Screening
- All donors will be asked to have their temperature taken before being permitted into the blood drive.
- If a donor has a temperature greater than 99.5°F they will be asked to come back to donate when they are healthy and will be asked to leave the drive.
- Hand sanitizer will be available at check-in, health history and refreshment areas.
- Blood donors will be asked to use hand sanitizer prior to using tablets and laptops.
- Donor beds will be sanitized between each and every donor.
- Implementation of separated drive set up to allow as much distance as possible between donors.
Staff Wellness and Protection
- All staff members will have a temperature check before presenting to work, and they’ve been asked not to come to work if they are feeling sick.
- Staff will wear gloves throughout entire blood drive, changing gloves between each and every donor.
Blood Donor Deferrals
Individuals are asked to postpone their donation for 28 days following:
- Travel to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, Iran, Italy and South Korea.
- Diagnosis of COVID-19, contact with a person who has or suspected to have the virus.
- The Red Cross is focused on coronavirus safety measures, we will continue to work with health agencies and partners to evaluate all emerging risks to ensure safety and availability of the U.S. blood supply for patients in need.
The Red Cross urgently needs blood drives to run as planned and blood donors of all blood types, to give now and help prevent a blood shortage. As the number of COVID-19 U.S. cases continues to grow, there may be fewer people eligible to give. Only by working together, we can ensure patients continue to have access to a safe adequate blood supply.
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