Ready to do Something Normal Again? Donate Blood
SAN ANGELO, TX – As blood shortages continue to worry blood banks across the country, it’s important to remember healthy individuals can donate blood safely. Donating blood is a critical health act and will not be restricted by current county and city guidelines.
In an effort to promote donations in the community, San Angelo Live will be sponsoring a blood drive on Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3. Individuals who donate during these two days will receive a free t-shirt in addition to coupons to their favorite local restaurants.
“Blood donation is a critical and necessary health care activity. It is not a “gathering” that government agencies are advising people to avoid,” said Vitalant in a statement. “The CDC, FEMA and the Surgeon General have all advocated for blood donations even when COVID-19 gathering restrictions have been implemented."
Vitalant, formerly known as United Blood Services, understands that many donors may feel apprehensive about the prospect of donating blood and other blood products. With that in mind, they have taken the necessary measures to ensure every donor is safe and following social distancing measures during their visit.
- Every donor will answer a series of questions to ensure they are healthy enough to donate.
- Donors must be free of respiratory illness symptoms—including an elevated temperature—to be eligible to donate.
- Vitalant employees will be measuring each donor’s temperature as they check-in. Those with temperatures higher than 99.5 are not allowed to donate. Anybody that is accompanying the donor will also have their temperature taken.
- Vitalant is asking donors to refrain from bringing children and other visitors who will not be donating into donation locations.
Inside donation locations, Vitalant is also implementing rules that adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- Donation Centers: Minimum of six feet between chairs in waiting, donation and refreshment areas.
- Bloodmobiles: Donors can wait in their cars or other locations and receive a call or text when the staff is ready to begin a donor’s medical interview.
- Larger waiting areas outside of bloodmobiles will be set up to accommodate donors.
- Only two donors will be allowed within the bloodmobiles at any given time.
Donating blood provides no inherent risk of contracting coronavirus. To minimize the risk of contracting it from others, staff will follow rigorous safety and disinfection protocols including:
- wearing gloves and changing/sanitizing them between donors.
- washing hands before and after any donor contact, after removing gloves and frequently throughout the day. If soap and water aren’t readily available, staff will use hand sanitizer (with 60% alcohol).
- wiping down donor-touched and other high-touch areas often and after every collection
- using sterile collection sets for every donation/collection
- thoroughly cleaning a donor’s arm with an antiseptic for 30 seconds
- blankets provided to donors will be single use only and professional or blankets may be wrapped in disposable draping and reused
- Donors may bring their blankets and heating pads will be covered with a disposable pillowcase.
- Number of chairs will be limited in the refreshment areas and chairs will be spaced out
- Volunteers and staff will pass out pre-packaged, single-use servings of snacks/beverages.
- Number of volunteers will be limited at any one location
- Donors are encouraged to wash hands or use hand sanitizer before visiting the refreshment area.
Recommended for You
Get more stories like this by signing up for our daily newsletter, The LIVE! Daily.