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Is it safe to leave the house to donate blood?

First slide

During the coronavirus pandemic, giving blood is more important than ever due to a severe blood shortage as blood drives are being canceled nationwide.

“Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.”

That is a startling fact from the Red Cross.

“It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation.”

According to redcross.org the top five reasons people don’t give blood include:

1. I don’t like needles

2. I’m not sure I’m eligible

3. Is it safe to donate?

4. I’m afraid I’ll faint

5. I don’t have the right kind of blood

With recent concerns of the coronavirus pandemic, and Virginia residents preparing for possible quarantine, the sixth reason might include, “If I give blood, will I catch COVID-19?”

Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood, platelets, or AB Elite plasma. 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.”

“The top priority of the Red Cross is the safety of our donors, volunteers, employees and blood recipients, and we are committed to transparency with the American public during this evolving public health emergency. There is no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus.

According to INOVA blood donor’s website: Maintaining a steady inventory of blood is critical to the emergency preparedness of our community as a whole. No one can predict when disaster will strike and we need to be ready when it does, with a sufficient quantity of blood ready for transfusion to those who need it most.

Safety protocols at both INOVA and Red Cross donation centers have been updated to comply with recent CDC recommendations and include, but are not limited to:

—  Enhanced disinfecting of equipment

—  Providing additional hand-sanitizer stations

—  Continued use of disposable gloves, single use supplies, etc.

—  Spacing out chairs and beds to allow for social distancing

—  Increased screening of donors

Donate blood

To find a donation site near you, go to inovablood.org, go to redcross.org or call 1-800-733-2767.

Additional resources

http://www.aabb.org/advocacy/regulatorygovernment/Pages/Coronavirus-and-Blood-Donation-Talking-Points.aspx

https://www.inovablood.org/inovabloodupdate/

https://www.inovablood.org/inovabloodupdate/

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020