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  • MH 2020 - Sophie Keeler

SII Saturday: Be Blood Donation Aware


Hello everyone! Welcome to Social Impact Initiative Saturday, where I'll discuss my SII, which I call, The Right Type to Save a Life: Building Blood Donation Awareness. It’s a cause I’ve promoted since I was in high school.

I want to begin this series by discussing blood donation and the impact of COVID-19! At the end of March, the Red Cross was facing a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations. Thanks to an incredible response to this shortage, the immediate need of patients relying on lifesaving blood products has been met thanks to the blood donors and collections staff across the United States. However, there is still a critical need.

Vice Admiral Jerome M. Adams, U.S. Surgeon General, expressed his concern for the blood supply issue this way: “You can still go out and give blood. We’re worried about potential blood shortages in the future. Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement.”

The future of many blood drives is uncertain due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the Red Cross is making every effort to offer more appointments and opportunities to donate blood. The Red Cross is encouraging donors not to be discouraged when appointments may be full for the upcoming weeks, and to continue to schedule appointments when they can.

As a Red Cross blood donation ambassador, I want to encourage everyone to give blood by saying patients still need you! No matter if you can donate blood tomorrow or next month, your blood donation is still vital to make lifesaving blood products for patients every day of the year!

Remember, every blood type is “The Right Type to Save a Life!” Let’s continue to support our heroes during this pandemic by making sure healthcare providers do not have to worry about providing patients with a lifesaving blood product.

Here are a few facts of how the incredible blood collection staff and volunteers are going above and beyond to make sure donors have a safe and effective donation process during this pandemic.

1. Collection staff use enhanced procedures to disinfect surfaces and equipment.

2. They are providing hand sanitizer for use before entering and throughout the donation appointment.

3. Staff perform a temperature check with presenting donors before allowing them to enter the blood drive or donation center.

4. Social distancing practices between donors, including donor beds, as well as waiting and refreshment areas, are observed at donation sites.

5. Staff wear face masks.

Remember, there is no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion. Please visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/coronavirus--covid-19--and-blood-donation.html to learn more information regarding blood donation and COVID-19.

Stay safe and healthy! I look forward to my blood donation appointment, and I hope you are adding one to your calendar as well!

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