Schedule Your Appointment Now
The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed now to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.
Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood with the Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
As the coronavirus pandemic has grown here in the U.S., blood drive cancellations have grown at an alarming rate. To date, nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to concerns about congregating at workplaces, college campuses and schools amidst the coronavirus outbreak. These cancellations have resulted in some 86,000 fewer blood donations. More than 80% of the blood the Red Cross collects comes from drives held at locations of this type.
The Red Cross is adding appointment slots at donation centers and expanding capacity at many community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to ensure ample opportunities for donors to give.
Volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need
The Red Cross expects the number of cancellations to continue to increase, which is causing heightened concern for blood collection organizations and hospitals across the country. This blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer.
“I am looking at the refrigerator that contains only one day’s supply of blood for the hospital,” said Dr. Robertson Davenport, director of transfusion medicine at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor. “The hospital is full. There are patients who need blood and cannot wait.”
“In our experience, the American public comes together to support those in need during times of shortage and that support is needed now more than ever during this unprecedented public health crisis,” said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Unfortunately, when people stop donating blood, it forces doctors to make hard choices about patient care, which is why we need those who are healthy and well to roll up a sleeve and give the gift of life.”
The Red Cross is committed to blood drive safety
“We know that people want to help, but they may be hesitant to visit a blood drive during this time. We want to assure the public that blood donation is a safe process, and we have put additional precautions in place at our blood drives and donation centers to protect all who come out,” said Hrouda.
The Red Cross has implemented new measures to ensure blood drives and donation centers are even safer for our donors and staff, including:
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.
“Volunteer donors are the unsung heroes for patients in need of lifesaving blood transfusions. If you are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give, please schedule an appointment to give now,” added Hrouda.
Blood donation process
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®. With 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.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
The dangers of a dirty CPAP
CPAP wipes are convenient. If you don't have CPAP wipes available here are some easy steps to help your CPAP machine stay clean. Be your best and healthy. Reduce sinus infections, irregular sleep.
When using a CPAP for eight hours or more per nights, room air goes into the machine, filters, through the tube, mask and nose. Microorganisms thrive in moist and matter. Don't worry, there is a simple process to keep the mask clean and yourself healthy.
1. Rinse the equipment with water. This can be done by running water over the equipment for 1 minute. 2. Make sure the equipment is properly air dried. All standing water from inside the tube should be allowed to drip away or out of the tube. CPAP tubes breakdown with use. They are not designed to last forever. Some sleep professionals recommend replacing the tubes sooner than later 2-3 times per year. CPAP filters should be replaced monthly. CPAP cleaner products will help keep the equipment clean, with minimal effort through maximum sanitizing performance. Read the instruction manuals before using products. Contact your local Home Medical Equipment Company for product lists and guidelines.
Household Cleaning Tips
1. Clean and disinfect surfaces in your home. Use rubber gloves, clean with soap and water to frequently to prevent family members from becoming ill.
2. Follow manufacturers guide when using disinfecting products for your home to avoid inhaling hazardous fumes.
3. To make a bleach solution use 5 Tablespoons or 1/3 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Store in a glass jar.
4. Wear disposable gloves when doing daily activities such as washing laundry. Clean all surfaces, washer, dryer, with soap and water on a regular basis.
5. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. Wash hands for 20 seconds or sing ABC's two times.
6. Hand sanitizer can be used in between times, until you get to a location to wash your hands with soap and water. Hand sanitizer should have a minimum of 70% alcohol in each bottle.
7. Avoid touching your face, mouth, and nose until your hands are washed with soap and water.