By: Sophie Kluthe
We know all corners of the country are feeling the impact of COVID-19, and like many of you, we’re doing all we can to help.
Here’s what we’re up against as it relates to our blood donation services: as of Monday, March 23, more than 6,000 blood drives were canceled due to Coronavirus fears, resulting in the loss of more than 200,000 donations. 358 of those drives were canceled in the state of Pennsylvania, with a loss of 10,311 donations.
You know what’s so inspiring, though? As our country went into a severe blood shortage, we put out a plea for blood donors, and you flocked to redcrossblood.org to answer the call, filling up the few blood drive and blood donor center openings we had still open. And you continue to answer that call.
That’s why, when you go to redcrossblood.org, it might take a while to load. If you want to give this week, you may find there aren’t any appointments available. Please don’t be discouraged. Have you considered donating next week, or the week after that?
We’ve had thousands of blood drives cancelled, but we’re working around the clock to set more up. Despite our efforts, there are still fewer drives than would normally be, and that means fewer available appointments. Remember, that little kid with cancer, that person who needs a lifesaving surgery, will still need you next week, and the week after that. People will still depend on blood donations, because the need for blood is constant.
As experts have emphasized, this outbreak is not limited to days, and the American Red Cross will continue to face blood collection challenges for weeks, and even months to come because of Coronavirus.
So thank you, for being so willing to donate your precious, lifesaving blood. And thank you for being patient. Thank you for being open to setting up an appointment a little further down the line, helping us as we try to stabilize this blood shortage.
During this crisis, we’ve also been working to keep blood donation is a safe process, increasing our already stringent safety protocols: https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/coronavirus–covid-19–and-blood-donation.html
We also want you to have the safety information that may help you get through this as well: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/coronavirus-safety.html
We’ll get through this, together.