As an added precaution, donors, volunteers and staff at Holyoke’s April 3 blood drive will have their temperature taken at the door before being allowed to enter.
Blood donors needed
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.
In Holyoke, a blood drive is scheduled for Friday, April 3, at the Lamar Fire Department, 205 Arapahoe St., Lamar, Nebraska, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. (The location has been updated since this article was first published.) To schedule an appointment, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
As the coronavirus pandemic has grown in the U.S., blood drive cancellations have grown at an alarming rate. To date, more than 6,000 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to concerns about congregating at workplaces, college campuses and schools amidst the coronavirus outbreak. These cancellations have resulted in some 200,000 fewer blood donations. More than 80% of the blood the Red Cross collects comes from drives held at locations of this type.
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.”
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