On Wednesday, Greenwich Police Chief Heavey shareda notice that the American Red Cross has a serious need for donations of blood.
“As the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to impact our communities, we need your help ensuring we have a sufficient blood supply to support hospital patients in our state and across the country,” Heavey said.
The American Red Cross mission is to collect and deliver lifesaving blood, but they say a staggering number of scheduled Red Cross blood drives have been cancelled as more workplaces, college campuses and other venues send people home and encourage social distancing.
Disruptions to blood donations can lead to shortages and cause delays in essential medical care. Thousands of blood drives have been cancelled nationwide already.
These donations are vital for hospitals to continue having surgeries, providing lifesaving blood to cancer patients and many others.
As concerns about the Coronavirus pandemic rise, the Red Cross has three vital messages:
- Donating blood is a safe process and people should not be concerned about giving or receiving blood during this challenging time.
- More healthy donors are needed to give now to prevent a blood shortage.
- Keep scheduled blood drives, which will allow donors the opportunity to give blood.
- We need more locations to host blood drives.
As an emergency preparedness organization, the Red Cross has also taken additional steps to ensure the safety of staff and donors at each Red Cross blood drive.
Temple Sholom canceled their blood drive this month, but here are two nearby blood drives:
Friday, March 27, 2020
Tully Health Center
32 Strawberry Hill Court
Stamford, CT 06902
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Stamford Church of Christ
1264 High Ridge Road
Stamford, CT 06903
2:00pm – 7:00pm
- 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 now pre-screening all individuals by checking their temperature before they enter any Red Cross blood drive or donation center, including their 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 and are not large gatherings.
The Red Cross is also working to ensure they can continue to carry out other aspects of their lifesaving mission, including providing critical disaster relief services. They are working with public health officials to ensure the safety of local communities and their workforce, while still providing the help and hope they need should disaster strike.
“We’re asking the American people to give blood during this challenging time, and we are asking you as our supporter to help communicate this critical need,” the Red Cross said in a release.
Those who are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give blood or platelets, are urged to make an appointment to donate as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).