The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Red Cross seeks blood donors

 

March 26, 2020



From P. Michael Drake, CFRE

Executive Director, SW Washington Chapter

American Red Cross

The outbreak of COVID 19 in our SW WA community and the restrictions adopted to help control its spread has caused a severe shortage in our blood supply. We have had a staggering number of scheduled Red Cross blood drives cancelled as more workplaces, school and college campuses and other venues have sent people home and encourage social distancing. To help overcome this deficiency, we ask for your help to promote businesses and community centers, if possible, to continue with their planned blood drives and/or to help schedule new blood drives.

This disruption to blood donations is causing shortages and delays in essential medical care. Since last week more than 50 blood drives have been cancelled locally. This represents about 1,500 units of blood not collected in our SW WA Chapter area.

I have two critical requests:

--We need your help encouraging companies and organizations to continue to hold existing blood drives or schedule new ones.

--We also need your help to encourage folks to donate lifesaving blood.

To overcome some of the concerns about collecting blood, we have taken additional steps to ensure the safety of staff and donors at each Red Cross blood drive.

--The Red Cross only collects blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation – and who meet other eligibility requirements, available at RedCrossBlood.org.

--We are pre-screening all individuals by checking their temperature before they enter any Red Cross blood drive or donation center, including our own staff and volunteers.

--At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols including wearing gloves, routinely wiping down donor-touched areas, using sterile collection sets for every donation, and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub.

--Additional spacing has been implemented within each blood drive set up to incorporate social distancing measures between donation beds and stations within the blood drive.

--The average blood drives are only 20-30 people spread over a several hour period and are not large gatherings.

Red Cross Disaster Services is reaching out to our shelter locations as potential alternatives to closed facilities and canceled drives.

Please encourage those who are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give blood or platelets, by making an appointment to donate as soon as possible. Use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Thank you for your leadership during this time and for your help in sharing this critical message

From P. Michael Drake, CFRE

Executive Director, SW Washington Chapter

American Red Cross

5109 NE 82nd Ave.

Vancouver, WA 98662

Mobile: 360-768-7463

michael.drake@redcross.org

 

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