The American Red Cross is looking to people who have recovered from COIVD-19 to help those who may still be fighting the virus. According to the American Red Cross website, the plasma in the blood of someone who has fully recovered from COVID-19 may contain COVID-19 antibodies that can attack the virus.
This convalescent plasma is being evaluated as a possible treatment for currently ill COVID-19 patients, so your donation could help save the lives of patients battling this disease.
You may qualify to donate plasma for coronavirus patients if you meet specific convalescent plasma and regular blood donation eligibility requirements.
Possible donors must have a prior, verified diagnosis of COVID-19 but are now symptom-free, be in good health or generally feel well even if you are being treated for a chronic condition, and are at least 17 years old and weight 110 pounds. Additional weight requirements apply for donors age 18 or younger.
Need For Blood Continues
The need for blood is always constant especially for those who are battling cancer who need transfusions. The National Cancer Institute estimates that more than 15,000 children and adolescents in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer each year. Childhood cancer patients may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications.
Cancer and cancer treatments can put patients at risk for low red blood cell and platelet counts. Some types of chemotherapy can damage bone marrow, lowering the production of red blood cells and platelets. Cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma attack the bone marrow as well. Blood and platelet transfusions can enable patients to receive critical treatments needed to fight and survive cancer.
Blood and platelet donations are needed to ensure blood products are available for pediatric cancer patients and others throughout this pandemic. As a thank-you, those who come to give Sept. 4-8 will receive a pair of Red Cross branded socks, while supplies last!
Make an appointment to donate by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Blood drives are also essential in helping ensure blood is available for patients this winter. To learn more and sign up to host a blood drive this fall and winter, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities
9/3/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 400 West 5th Street
9/21/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Community Center, 204 S Carroll St
9/16/2020: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Jennie M Melham Memorial Medical Center, 145 Memorial Drive, PO Box 250
9/1/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Chadron United Methodist Church, United Methodist Church, 847 Shelton St
9/2/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Spalding City Auditorium, St. Joseph Ave.
9/16/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Ewing City Hall, 209 E Nebraska St
9/2/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Bridgeport High School (MT), 800 Q Street
9/9/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Loup City Community Center, 803 O St
9/8/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Veteran’s Club, 246 S. 15th St.
9/1/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Wheeler County Fire Hall, 435 Randolph
How to donate blood
A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification 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 have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the 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.