Health care organizations across Hampton Roads are encouraging all those eligible to donate blood to their local American Red Cross location. As part of a collective effort to give back to the American Red Cross this holiday season, Bon Secours, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Riverside Health System and Sentara Healthcare are asking everyone to support their local chapter and donate blood.
Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood due to surgery, illness, or a traumatic injury. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased this demand nationally and here at home in Hampton Roads. At this time, Hampton Roads health care organizations are being supplied with a lower amount of blood supplies this year as the state experiences a reduction in donations by 41 percent this year compared to last year. Local healthcare leaders are continuing to monitor blood supplies and remain prepared to care for all patients. With much of the local blood supply coming from the American Red Cross, lifesaving efforts performed at local health care organizations can only happen when residents make a generous blood donation. Just one donation can save up to three lives and help replenish our local supplies.
“We can only deliver lifesaving blood to area hospitals with the support of our community,” said Jonathan McNamara, communications director for the American Red Cross Virginia Region. “There is no substitute for the local blood donors and volunteers who support our blood drives and as we move through the holiday season, we hope people join us in helping to build a more resilient blood supply.”
All blood donations are performed in a safe and healthy environment. In addition to normal adherence to sterile practices, Red Cross employees are following COVID-19 safety protocols at donation centers and blood drives:
- Requiring face masks
- Wiping down donor-touched areas after every collection
- Providing hand sanitizer for use before entering and throughout the donation appointment
- Ensuring temperature checks are conducted on donors before they enter the blood drive or donation center
- Monitoring social distancing practices between donors including donor beds, waiting and refreshment areas
The Red Cross hosts blood drives daily throughout our Hampton Roads communities. To support The American Red Cross and your local healthcare community, please donate blood today. Find your nearest donation center by entering your zip code at www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive.