As the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to impact our communities, there is a major lack of sufficient blood supply to support hospital patients in Texas and across the country.
The American Red Cross is working to continue delivering our mission, including the collection of lifesaving blood, but have had a staggering number of scheduled Red Cross blood drives canceled as more workplaces, college campuses and other venues send people home and encourage social distancing.
Due to cancellations in the community, Bryan Rotary and the American Red Cross has decided to host blood drives at the Red Cross office and ask that organizations wanting to host blood drives receive training through the local office.
Disruptions to blood donations can lead to shortages and cause delays in essential medical care. As of March 23, about 7,000 blood drives, representing approximately 200,000 fewer blood donations, have been canceled in the U.S. due to COVID-19 concerns. The American Red Cross wants you to know the following:
- 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. 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.
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 here.
- We are now pre-screening all individuals by checking their temperature before they enter any Red Cross blood drive or donation center, including our 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.
AN APPOINTMENT IS REQUIRED. Walk up donors will not be allowed to donate.
Donors must make an appointment through the Red Cross Blood Donor App, online at RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).