5/6/2020 11:38:00 AM Score: East Lincoln 20, Lincolnton 5
This is the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center in Huntersville.
(Photos Courtesy American Red Cross)
North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper and daughter Natalie both gave blood in early April in Raleigh.
Lincoln Herald Staff email@example.com
There is a critical shortage of blood. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many blood drives have been cancelled or postponed. The result is that there is a shortage.
The Lincoln County Family YMCA and Sally's YMCA scheduled blood drives for Monday and Tuesday of this week. The turnout was not good--especially in Lincolnton. Only five pints of blood were collected. At Sally's on Tuesday, they collected more than 20 pints.
One of the five blood donors from Monday's blood drive at the Lincolnton Y sent us this letter to the editor, expressing her disappointment in the poor turnout there:
There have been many unfortunate consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic in our community. One of these is the reduction in local blood drives, especially since many of those have traditionally been held at schools and churches. I saw several postings of a blood drive at the Lincoln County YMCA on Monday, May 4, 2020 from 2-7pm. Since the frequent blood drives at my workplace have temporarily stopped, I was glad to see a local drive that I could attend since we don’t have a donation center in our county.
When I arrived and signed in for my 5:45 appointment, I was the fourth name on the list. I asked if that was the second page of the sign-in, because surely more than 3 people donated in the almost 4 hours before I arrived. Sadly, I was actually only the fourth person that day. My teenage daughter came after me, and was the fifth, and last, donor.
We are a city of 10,000 people, and while a significant number of people aren’t eligible to donate for a variety of reasons, I struggle to believe we can’t get more than 5 people to donate, especially with these drives being so infrequent right now. I can understand the number of donors being lower with coronavirus fears, but five people? Lincolnton, we can, and should, do better than this.
It's worth noting that you don't need to fear getting COVID-19 by giving blood.
The Red Cross has implemented extra measures to make sure blood drives and donation centers are even safer for 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.
Lincolnton folk will have a chance to redeem themselves at two Red Cross Bloodmobile visits that are tentatively scheduled for Walmart's Lincolnton store June 14th from 11:30 - 4 and at the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office on June 25th from 2 - 7 PM. A blood drive that had been scheduled for Trinity Lutheran Church at Vale for next Monday has been postponed and will be rescheduled later.
Of course, you don't have to wait to give 'the gift of life.' Blood donations can be made at the Red Cross Huntersville Blood Donation Center, 9800 Kincey Ave. in Huntersville, any day. They're open Monday-Wednesday 11 AM - 6:30 PM, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 7 AM - 3 PM. Call them at 800-733-2767 to schedule an appointment. You can also schedule an appointment by visiting them online at RedCrossBlood.org.
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