BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The American Red Cross honors their volunteers and donors during the month of March as part of Red Cross Month. This also serves as a way to remind people of the power of the Red Cross in their community. One of the ways the organization shows its power is through its blood drives.
“It takes a hundred and thirty thousand units of blood a day for the American Red Cross to meet the demands of hospitals so that patients with all manor of needs have that blood on the shelves and stocked,” said Regional CEO of American Red Cross Erica Mani. “The only way for the American Red Cross to supply that blood is through the generosity of donors who are willing to roll up a sleeve and give that blood.”
This becomes especially true during a pandemic where many people can become hospitalized with health complications. During the pandemic the Red Cross has implemented the highest health protocols to ensure the safety of donors.
“We have instituted increased protocols such as the additional cleansing, the social distancing, the masks, and temperature checks,” Mani said. “All kinds of additional protocols throughout this last year to make sure that donors feel confident.”
Even if you have contracted the virus the Red Cross still encourages you to donate blood after you are healthy.
“In fact, those who have had coronavirus may have the antibodies in their blood that we would be able to derive convalescent plasma,” said Mani. “Which is yet another blood product that has been extremely needed in the fight against Covid with the most sick patients in the hospitals. So they could really do a lot by coming in even after they have had Covid.”
Those interested in donating can visit redcrossblood.org and put in your zip code for a list of blood drive locations or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767).