The American Red Cross is beginning to experience a “crisis within a crisis.” Due to cancelled blood drives across the country, the nation’s blood supply is dangerously low. There are some upcoming local opportunities to help.
Every two seconds, someone needs blood - whether it is someone undergoing cancer treatment, someone who has been in an accident and even premature babies.
Cynthia De la Torre – a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross says they’re counting on the public to help beef up the blood supply.
“Blood is not manufactured,” she said. “It cannot be stockpiled and it has a shelf life of 42 days - so as soon as we are receiving that blood we are providing that blood to the 2500 hospitals across the nation. So our volunteer blood donors are very important to us and it's the only source for life saving blood.”
7,000 blood drives have been canceled since the outbreak of COVID-19 resulting in 200,000 fewer donations. Even so, she says blood collection can still happen during these days of social distancing.
She says it’s safe to donate blood, given the restrictions of COVID-19.
“Most blood drives are not considered mass gatherings,” she said. “These are controlled events and our staff is trained with appropriate safety measures to protect donors and recipients. So, it's important to note that at each blood drive and donation center, our employees they follow thorough and have been following thorough safety protocols even before COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of any infection. So, we have implemented new safety protocols. We take temperatures of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they're healthy. We provide hand sanitizer for use before entering the drive as well as throughout you know the donation process. We space beds wherever possible to follow social distancing practices and also you know just increase the disinfecting of surfaces."
She adds it’s important to make an appointment so they can help manage the timing of when people are giving blood. You can go online to make an appointment here.
She says there is no evidence that any respiratory viruses are transmitted by giving or receiving blood.
The next drive is being held at the Wasatch County Health Dept. on Thursday, from 1 to 6 pm. Lee’s Market and Heber Valley Medical Center also have planned blood drives on Monday, March 30th.
In Summit County, the next drive is scheduled for April 7th at Advice Media at Kimball Junction and on April 13th at the PC MARC. You can see the list of upcoming blood drives online at kpcw.org
Blood can be also accepted at the Salt Lake City Blood Donation Center, located at 6616 South 900 East.
UPCOMING BLOOD DRIVES:
Thursday, March 26th - 1 - 6 pm
Wasatch County Health Department - 55 South 500 East, Heber City
Monday, March 30th - 10 am – 4 pm
Heber Valley Medical Center. 1485 South Hwy 40, Heber City
Monday, March 30th - 2 pm – 7 pm
Lee's Marketplace – 890 South Main St., Heber City
Tuesday, March 31st – 10 am – 3 pm
Sheraton Park City - 1895 Sidewinder Drive, Park City
Tuesday, April 7th – 9 am – 3 pm
Advice Media – 1389 Center Drive #230, Park City
Monday, April 13th – 10 am – 3 pm
PC MARC – 1200 Little Kate Road, Park City