American Red Cross will need steady blood donations until late April to meet demand

Coronavirus

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Blood donations are needed during this pandemic, and it doesn’t matter what your blood type is.

While the coronavirus cannot be transmitted through blood, the Red Cross said it is important for healthy people to donate until the end of April.

At their East Broad Street location, the Red Cross is getting anywhere from 60 to 70 donations per day, and Brian Lee decided he should give for the first time.

“You know what, I’ve never done it before,” said Lee. “I saw it on TV that they were desperate for blood. They were low and you know I should try to do something to help my community.”

Lee felt he there was no better time than now to start giving. He, just like many others, was looking for a way to help during the coronavirus outbreak, and says he feels safe coming here.

“They take your temperature when you walk in,” said Lee. “They take it again when you sit down. They take your blood pressure. They seem to be pretty well on it.”

The Red Cross volunteers are even wearing masks for the first time.

These aren’t the N-95 masks nurses and doctors need, but a lower grade mask added as an extra layer of safety. 

They’re also wiping down all tables before and after donations and taking the temperatures of everyone, in hopes that it eases the fears of people who donate.

“We’re really so appreciative of people willing to roll up a sleeve to make sure that patients can continue to get the blood that they need,” said Rodney Wilson with the American Red Cross.

Wilson said they have been busy with donations for the last two weeks, and they need those donations to continue until the end of April and maybe longer.

“We don’t want 1,000 people to come at the same time at the same location on the same day. We want a steady flow of donations, tomorrow, the next week, and the next week to make sure the blood supply is consistent throughout this uncertain time.”

He added the cancellation of elective surgeries has helped them meet the hospitals’ demand for now, but the organization and people like Brian feel this is a time for this community to come together and support one another.

“You need to try to help people, if you can help people you should,” said Lee.

If you can donate, you can go to redcrossblood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

The Red Cross is doing most of the blood drives in their offices but are open and looking to do drives at different facilities that are free and willing to help.

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