Blood drive to be held Wednesday at Evangelical Church

Sweet Home Evangelical Church will host a blood drive from 2 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, at the Activity Center, 1347 Long St.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a critical shortage of the nation’s blood supply.

With shelter-in-place mandates keeping people home and locations where blood donations typically take place, such as schools and office buildings, shuttered, thousands of blood drives have been canceled across the country, including in Linn County.

The blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer.

The Red Cross has implemented new measures to ensure blood drives and donation centers are even safer for our 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

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in.

Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass. Donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer.

To complete a RapidPass, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

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