Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, the sole supplier of blood and plasma to patients at more than 40 area healthcare facilities, is urging healthy individuals to continue to donate blood at an upcoming CBCO donor center or blood drive in the region. They are calling on donors and community partners to help keep adequate blood reserves available by maintaining a regular schedule of giving.
Since last week, more than a dozen scheduled blood drives have been postponed or canceled altogether, resulting in the loss of hundreds of previously scheduled or future blood donations.
As mobile blood drives continue to postpone their blood drives, CBCO is focusing on increasing donations at CBCO Donor Centers in Bentonville and Springdale. Here are some points the public needs to know.
CBCO has increased already stringent standards to ensure the health of our donors and our employees. These will include, but are not limited to:
•Sanitation stations at various points in the donation process.
Increased availability of personal protective equipment for donor use. These will include hand gel, social distancing protocols, along with protective gloves when handling objects used by the public.
A temperature check of potential donors will be administered both when a donor comes in to give and at the physical findings check that is required for each donor.
•An increase in aseptic procedures that will ensure a clean environment for your donation.
CBCO is strongly urging donors to make an appointment to give at donate.cbco.org/donor/schedules/centers. Appointments will help us to make certain that the donor's experience will be as smooth as possible by better managing donor flow at donor centers and blood drives. Donors are also encouraged to use the QuickPass feature which allows you to begin the blood donation process from the comfort of your home or office, saving you time at the blood drive Find QuickPass on the CBCO website at cbco.org/quickpass.
There is the strong possibility that future blood drives and donation levels will continue to be negatively impacted over the next several weeks. Please check the CBCO website for the latest drive information, donor center hours of operation and special events.
It is also important to note that Community Blood Center of the Ozarks donors are the sole suppliers of blood to patients at more than 40 area hospitals. It is important now more than ever for local donors to provide relief and their lifesaving gift for local patients.
On behalf of local hospital patients, CBCO thanks blood donors from across the region for giving life to your community.
• Harrison: noon-6 p.m. March 26, North Arkansas Regional Medical Center, 620 N. Main St.
• Springdale: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. March 26, Arvest Bank, 415 W. Emma Ave.
Information: (800) 280-5337 or cbco.org.
The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed now to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.
As the coronavirus pandemic has grown here in the U.S., blood drive cancellations have grown at an alarming rate. To date, nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to concerns about congregating at workplaces, college campuses and schools amid the coronavirus outbreak. These cancellations have resulted in some 86,000 fewer blood donations. More than 80% of the blood the Red Cross collects comes from drives held at locations of this type.
Here in the Missouri-Arkansas Region, 56 blood drives have been canceled, resulting in 1,883 fewer blood donations. The Red Cross is adding appointment slots at donation centers and expanding capacity at many community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to ensure ample opportunities for donors to give.
Volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need
The Red Cross expects the number of cancellations to continue to increase, which is causing heightened concern for blood collection organizations and hospitals across the country. This blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer.
"I am looking at the refrigerator that contains only one day's supply of blood for the hospital," said Dr. Robertson Davenport, director of transfusion medicine at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor. "The hospital is full. There are patients who need blood and cannot wait."
"In our experience, the American public comes together to support those in need during times of shortage and that support is needed now more than ever during this unprecedented public health crisis," said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. "Unfortunately, when people stop donating blood, it forces doctors to make hard choices about patient care, which is why we need those who are healthy and well to roll up a sleeve and give the gift of life."
The Red Cross is committed to blood drive safety
"We know that people want to help, but they may be hesitant to visit a blood drive during this time. We want to assure the public that blood donation is a safe process, and we have put additional precautions in place at our blood drives and donation centers to protect all who come out," said Hrouda.
The Red Cross has implemented new measures to ensure blood drives and donation centers are even safer for our donors and staff, including:
• Checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy.
• Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process.
• Spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood donors.
• Increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment.
At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees already follow thorough safety protocols to help prevent the spread of any type of infection, including:
• Wearing gloves and changing gloves with each donor.
• Routinely wiping down donor-touched areas.
• Using sterile collection sets for every donation.
• Preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub.
There is no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transfusion transmission for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus worldwide.
"Volunteer donors are the unsung heroes for patients in need of lifesaving blood transfusions. If you are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give, please schedule an appointment to give now," added Hrouda.
Information: (800) RED-CROSS or RedCrossBlood.org.
NAN Profiles on 03/22/2020