Blood donation remains essential amid COVID-19 pandemic

Submitted Content
Red Cross
There were 15,000 uncollected donations due to canceled blood drives from the recent winter storm across the country.

A year ago, many things in the world paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the need for blood never stopped. Today blood donations are just as essential, and the American Red Cross urges individuals who are healthy to make an appointment to donate blood.

For patients in the emergency room, fighting cancer or coping with a life-threatening illness, help can’t wait. Their health is reliant on the selfless generosity of blood donors. However, the blood supply continues to face challenges from the ongoing pandemic and extreme winter weather that impacted much of the U.S. last month.

More donors, especially those with type O blood, are needed now to ensure that patients have lifesaving blood products available for emergencies and everyday medical treatments. Schedule a blood donation appointment by downloading the Red Cross 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.

March is Red Cross Month, and the Red Cross is celebrating blood, platelet and plasma donors for stepping up to meet the constant need for blood amid the pandemic. In thanks for being a vital part of the organization’s lifesaving mission, all who come to give March 15-26 will receive an exclusive Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Important COVID-19 information for donors

The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for high levels of COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients.

--

Upcoming blood donation opportunities March 15-31

Benton

Cole Camp

3/18/2021: 3 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Cole Camp High School, 500 S Keeney St

Lincoln

3/31/2021: 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Lincoln High School, 101 W Lamine

Warsaw

3/15/2021: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 154 W. Washington St

Camden

Osage Beach

3/25/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Tri County YMCA of the Ozarks, 950 Airport Road

3/29/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Culver's Restaurant, 5785 US 54

Miller

Iberia

3/16/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Iberia High School, 201 Pemberton Dr.

Saint Elizabeth

3/24/2021: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Community Center, 120 Franklin Street

Morgan

Laurie

3/25/2021: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Elks Laurie, 174 Elks Ln.

Versailles

3/22/2021: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Providence School House, 13247 Hwy E

3/30/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Assembly of God, 501 W. Hicks St.