Blood drives scheduled in area

The American Red Cross is urging healthy donors of all blood types to give blood and help ensure a stable blood supply for patients this holiday season.


The traditional slump in blood donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s comes as the blood supply already faces challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. Required medical treatments and emergencies don’t pause for the holidays or a widespread coronavirus outbreak.


Important COVID-19 information for donors


The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.


COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.


Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions - including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff - have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.


Upcoming blood drives include:


Garden City


Nov. 17: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., First Southern Baptist Church, 2708 3rd Street North


Nov. 18: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., First Southern Baptist Church, 2708 3rd Street North


Dodge City


Nov. 18: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Senior Center, 2408 Central Ave.


Nov. 19: 7:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Senior Center, 2408 Central Ave.


Syracuse


Nov. 19: 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Hamilton County Fair Building, 806 S Main


About blood donation


Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visitRedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.


Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.


In thanks for making time to donate around Thanksgiving, those who come to give blood Nov. 25-28 will receive an exclusive Red Cross long-sleeved T-shirt, courtesy of Suburban Propane, while supplies last.