NEBRASKA – The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage after blood drives across the country are cancelling due to coronavirus concerns. Nearly 3,000 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country. More than 80% of the blood the Red Cross collects comes from drives and these cancellations have resulted in some 86,000 fewer blood donations. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.
Rachelle Lipker, Executive Director of the Western and Central Nebraska Red Cross, says they are taking extra precautions to keep donors, hospitals, patients, and the blood supply safe.
What we are doing is that we are checking the temperature of staff and donors before they enter the blood drive area to make sure that they are healthy. So if you have a temperature of 99.5 or above, we are going to ask you to defer that blood donation that day. We are also providing additional hand sanitizers to use all around the blood drive. So, when we are able to we are providing additional spacing in between the beds. So that way there is a little more space for everyone that is donating.
They are also in need of volunteers and they are saying that monetary donations are needed as well. More information on how to donate blood, money, or to volunteer can be found at RedCrossBlood.org, or you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or you can download the free Red Cross Blood Donor app.