Red Cross encourages donations to keep robust blood supply
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Though this summer may feel different than summers past, one thing remains constant: The need for blood donations to help save lives. The Red Cross is urging healthy individuals to give blood to restock the shelves for patients battling disease and facing the unexpected.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the country have stepped up to help by giving blood or platelets with the Red Cross. Blood donations from healthy individuals are just as essential now to meet patient needs, and those who gave this spring may be eligible to help again.
Locally, upcoming blood donation opportunities include:
Aug. 3: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., United Methodist Church in Dexter, Mo.; and 2:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Elks Lodge in Chaffee, Mo.
Aug. 4: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., First Baptist Church in Puxico, Mo.
Aug. 5: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., The Front Porch in Scott City, Mo.; and 1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Glenn Daulton Community Center in Caruthersville, Mo.
Aug. 7: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Shady Acres Church of Christ in Sikeston, Mo.
Aug. 10: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dexter, Mo., and 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Bertrand City Hall in Bertrand, Mo.
Aug. 11: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Bernie Community Center in Bernie, Mo.
Aug. 12: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., SEMO Health Network’s Sikeston Medical Clinic in Sikeston; 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Sikeston; and 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., First General Baptist Church in Malden, Mo.
Right now, the American Red Cross also has an emergency shortage of convalescent plasma, a potentially lifesaving treatment for patients with COVID-19.
The Red Cross has seen demand for convalescent plasma more than double over the last month as the number of coronavirus cases increases across the U.S. Convalescent plasma products are now being distributed faster than donations are coming in.
Individuals who have fully recovered and received a verified COVID-19 diagnosis are urged to sign up to give convalescent plasma now by completing the donor eligibility form at RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid.
Convalescent plasma is plasma that is collected from patients who have recovered from an infection and have antibodies that might help fight that infection – in this case, those who have fully recovered from COVID-19. With each donation, COVID-19 survivors have a unique ability to help up to three patients recover from the virus.
Donation appointments can be made for the coming days and weeks by downloading the free 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.
As a thank-you for helping ensure a stable blood supply, those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma, including convalescent plasma, Aug. 1-Sept. 3 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Amazon.*
Blood donation safety
To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance.
Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.