GREENSBORO, N.C. — Statistics show every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. That includes accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for cancer and other chronic diseases.
You can help give the gift of life by participating in the Women’s Resource Center’s Blood Drive. The event will be held in the parking lot of the Women’s Resource Center on Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Summit Avenue in Greensboro.
The Women’s Resource Center is a nonprofit organization on a mission “to promote the self-reliance of women by assessing needs, providing services and acting as a gateway to community resources.” The Center is teaming up with OneBlood to bring a mobile blood donation unit to the Triad. OneBlood is a not-for-profit organization responsible for providing safe, available, and affordable blood.
The "Big Red Bus" will be parked in the Women’s Resource Center’s parking lot to collect blood from donors. Health officials are encouraging healthy people to donate blood, even if they are practicing social distancing due to the COVID-19 crisis. The CDC is also supporting blood centers by providing recommendations that will keep donors and staff safe. That includes spacing donor chairs 6 feet apart, thoroughly adhering to environmental cleaning practices, and encouraging donors to make donation appointments ahead of time.
“Schools, corporations, churches are some of main places that would host a blood drive,” said Holly Bessey, Community Education Coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center. “Their employees, parishioners, or members would come and donate. But, those aren't available due to the closures and people working remotely. There is a huge need and we simply wanted to respond to that.”
OneBlood is also testing all blood donations for the COVID-19 antibody. The test will indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to the virus, regardless of whether they ever showed symptoms. Doctors say they’re turning to convalescent plasma to help treat critically ill coronavirus patients.
“The need for convalescent plasma and the number of sick patients that are coming in on a daily basis is staggering,” said Candice Sareli, M.D., Chief Medical Research Officer at Memorial Healthcare System in Miami, Florida. “We absolutely need people who have recovered from the virus to contact OneBlood and donate as soon as possible.”
Convalescent Plasma Donor Eligibility Requirements:
In addition to meeting all FDA donor eligibility to be a blood donor, COVID-19 convalescent plasma donors must have complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior to donation and provide one of the following:
- Provide prior diagnosis of COVID-19 documented by a laboratory test or a letter from a hospital confirming a COVID-19 diagnosis
- OR, provide a positive serological test for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies
If you plan on participating in the blood drive, you're encouraged to wear a face mask. If you do not have a face mask, OneBlood will provide you with a mask. You can also expect OneBlood to follow additional health and safety guidelines to help slow the spread of COVID-19. All donors will also receive a Free OneBlood Tote bag and a wellness checkup including: blood pressure, temperature, iron count, pulse, and cholesterol screening.