Jul 27, 2020 2:43 PM

Red Cross: Help keep robust blood supply as pandemic continues

Posted Jul 27, 2020 2:43 PM

WICHITA — Right now, the American Red Cross 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.

Blood donors needed to keep supply strong amid pandemic

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 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.

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, including convalescent plasma, Aug. 1-Sept. 3 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Amazon. (Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)  

Plus, give by Aug. 31 and automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm, redeemable through the 2021 season! (Terms and conditions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/CedarFair.)  

Blood donation safety precautions

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.    

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in the area Aug. 1-15

Cloud County

Miltonvale: Aug. 12, noon- 6 p.m., EMS/FIRE Building, 117 Star

Jewell County

Jewell: Aug. 14, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Jewell Community Building, 214 Delaware

Marion County

Goessel: Aug. 10, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Mennonite Church, 109 S. Church

Hillsboro: Aug. 10, noon - 6 p.m., Parkview Mennonite Church, 610 S. Main

McPherson County

Canton: Aug. 5, noon - 6 p.m., Community Center, 100 W. McPherson

Moundridge: Aug. 12, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Grace Crossing Church, 111 Cole Street

Mitchell County

Beloit: Aug. 5, noon - 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 801 N. Bell Street

Republic County

Cuba: Aug. 3, 11:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Community Center, 200 Baird Street

Scandia: Aug. 11, 11 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Scandia Library, 318 Fourth Street

Saline County

Salina: Aug. 2, 12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., The Temple, 336 S. Santa Fe

Aug. 8, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., YMCA, 570 YMCA Drive

Aug. 13, noon - 6 p.m., Church of the Cross, 1600 Rush