WAYNE – Over the past four months, over 40,000 American Red Cross blood drives have been canceled due to COVID-19.
According to a release from the American Red Cross, these cancellations have limited the ability to provide opportunities for individuals to donate lifesaving blood to meet hospital needs.
Cancellations are expected to continue as places that usually host blood drives remain closed or are limiting who can enter their facilities. Because of that, the Red Cross is asking companies and organizations to step up to host a blood drive.
When companies or organizations host blood drives, everybody wins. Patients are able to receive the lifesaving blood they urgently need and the organization builds goodwill as well as improves team spirit by working together to help others. Precautions are taken by the Red Cross to ensure blood drives remain a safe process for all involved.
Red Cross officials have also announced it’s facing an emergency shortage of convalescent plasma, a type of blood donation collected from individuals who have recently recovered from coronavirus that contains antibodies that may help patients actively fight the virus. Right now, the Red Cross is distributing convalescent plasma products faster than donations are coming in.
And the hurricane and wildfire seasons are projected to be especially busy this year, but the American Red Cross is ready to respond, with modifications to service delivery in light of the coronavirus outbreak. Already, hurricanes in Texas and the east coast and wildfires in Arizona, California and Nevada have led to responses from the Red Cross.
Dedicated volunteers and workers have been trained to respond to these types of disasters with coronavirus safety in mind. Added precautions include masks and other personal protective equipment, shifting some services to virtual and reimagining shelter and feeding operations. While some services may look different, the Red Cross continues to carry out its mission and respond when communities are in need.
For more information, visit redcrossblood.org.