“But we need to follow this statement up with realism as well as a repetition of our request for your help— our need for blood is ongoing. Blood is perishable. It’s not something that we can put in a storage bank and take out when we need it. So, we constantly need blood from folks who can come and give.”
“One of the challenges with blood donations is that we’re competing with the other things on people’s schedules,” he adds. “Right now, many people have more time on their hands, and we want them to remember that they can put that to good use by coming to donate. And because we are considered an essential service, donors have license to travel to give blood.”
If you are healthy and eligible to donate blood, make an appointment by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org for a list of new blood donation locations near you. You can check your eligibility online by filling out their health screening questionnaire in advance.
At this time, contacting the Red Cross via internet or phone is the best method of verifying a location to donate. Appointments are highly recommended both to ensure appropriate space is maintained between donors in keeping with CDC recommendations for social distancing, as well as to monitor how much blood is collected with how much is being distributed to hospitals.
“We may not have a slot tomorrow or two days from now, but definitely in two or three weeks we will,” Ben says. “This will be an ongoing need in the ensuing weeks and months.”
The Red Cross has implemented steps and procedures during the COVID-19 crisis to ensure the safety of all volunteers and donors.
“Medical personnel right up to the Surgeon General consider donating blood safe,” Amy Brauner, executive director of American Red Cross, says. “There have been no cases of this virus, nor any respiratory virus, being transmitted through blood, and this has been verified again and again.