Red Cross Says They Are In Critical Need for Blood Donors

The American Red Cross of Central Ohio says it is facing a severe blood shortage. Red Cross officials say donations are down to unprecedented low numbers due to blood drive cancellations because of the coronavirus.

The Red Cross says it has implemented new protocols to ensure the safety of its donation centers both to staff and those coming in to donate. The organization is asking healthy individuals of all blood types to give as soon as possible by making an appointment through the Red Cross app or by calling 1-800-Red-Cross.

The Scioto Valley Chapter House located at 181 North Bridge Street in Chillicothe will be open from 9:30am-3:30pm on Mondays, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s for those who wish to give blood. No appointment is necessary.


Safety First

At each blood drive, Red Cross employees will follow safety protocols that have been put in place to help ensure donor and staff safety, as well as blood recipient safety. These steps include:

  • Temperatures will be taken, prior to entering the blood drive, for EVERYONE who is entering the blood drive – away from the registration table. This temperature will not be recorded but anyone who has a reading of 99.5 degrees or higher will not be allowed in the drive.
  • Red Cross staff are required to monitor their own temperatures and will not be at the drive if they have an elevated temperature. 
  • Anti-bacterial sanitizer will be at registration – donors will be required to use the sanitizer prior to signing in on the computer. If they refuse or don’t want to sign-in, volunteers can sign
  • them in.
  • Chairs for reading or waiting for beds need to be 3 ft apart.
  • Squeeze ball will be sanitized for each donor and placed in a glove.
  • Collection staff will wipe down beds after each donor.
  • Collection staff will wipe down snack area after donors.
  • Collection staff will change gloves several times with each donor.

In addition, please note that there are no data or evidence to show that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transmissions for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus. Nonetheless, the Red Cross has implemented new blood donation deferrals out of an abundance of caution, asking individuals to postpone their donation for 28 days if they meet certain risk criteria.


Moving Forward

In the days and weeks ahead, the Red Cross will continue to monitor this evolving situation. If additional safety enhancement tactics are implemented, we will be sure to inform you via email, so please be on the lookout for those communications. For the latest information on this coronavirus disease, you can also visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control website.


The Need Is Great

Your efforts to deliver lifesaving blood services mission have never been more important. Blood drives will help keep the blood supply stable during this challenging time and prevent shortages that could impact patient care as the blood inventory is reported to be VERY LOW.

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