• Blood donors still needed during pandemic
    Mayor Travis Ransom donates blood at LifeShare's Blood Drive at Price's Hardware Saturday morning.
  • Blood donors still needed during pandemic
    Left to right: Bob Dotson, Melanie Eaves, and Virgil Trenado.

Blood donors still needed during pandemic

LifeShare Blood Center held a blood drive Saturday with sponsorship by The Atlanta Masonic Lodge at two locations. The drive was especially critical amid the COVID-19 pandemic as blood drives are in decline because of those concerns.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has led to the loss of more than 3,500 upcoming donations. Most of the cancellations are a result of high schools and colleges across LifeShare’s service area cancelling in-person classes for the next several weeks.

LifeShare spokesperson Benjamin Prijatel said in a press release, “One in five blood donations is from a teenager. These young people have a tremendous impact on the healthcare local hospitals are able to provide in our communities. With these school closures, it is very difficult to reach these young donors and motivate them to come to one of our donor centers.”

“If you now have the flexibility in your schedule, we ask that you make time to donate blood.”

Although hospitals across the country are beginning to delay or postpone non-emergency or elective surgeries, blood products often don’t go to these patients. LifeShare Medical Director Dr. Tim Peterson said, “Most of the blood LIfeShare collects goes to those undergoing cancer treatment, open-heart surery, organ transplant, trauma, childbirth, and other medical procedures that can’t be put off.”

LifeShare is enforcing and strengthening its FDA-regulated blood collection practices during this time and maintains several standard operation procedures to ensure the safety of blood donors, staff, and the collected blood products. Moreover, the organization is not hosting public blood drives of greater than 50 donors, sanitizing donor beds and chairs after each donation and high-touch surfaces with more frequency, stocking additional cleaning supplies, and reinforcing training procedures to ensure staff are following proper safety and hygiene procedures.

The safety of donors is of the utmost importance to LifeShare’s effort to provide the community with lifesaving blood products and the coronavirus outbreak has not changed that.

“COVID-19 poses no known risk to blood donors during the donation process and there are no reports that it can be transmitted through a blood transfusion.”

However, blood donors should be healthy and if sick or symptomatic, they should wait until feeling healthy and well before donating.

LifeShare will be holding another blood drive on Friday, Apr. 3 at Walmart from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Cass County Now

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Atlanta, TX 75551