CLEVELAND — The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive this Friday at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and is asking for people to come and donate to help those in need.
There is a national shortage of blood donations across the country as more than 7,000 blood drives have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Red Cross. The cancelations have resulted in around 200,000 fewer blood donations across the country. In Ohio, there have been 20,000 fewer donations.
The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse Atrium, 1 Center Court, Cleveland. There will be free parking on East 6th Street and at the Gateway Sports Complex. Donors are asked to enter through the Cleveland-Cliff's entrance near Huron Road and East 6th Street.
“Donating blood is a safe process, and Red Cross employees are following thorough safety protocols to help prevent the spread of any type of disease or infection,” the Red Cross said in a news release.
The Red Cross has established additional precautions “out of an abundance of caution” due to COVID-19.
Red Cross employees follow the below safety protocols:
- Wearing gloves and changing them often
- Wiping down donor-touched areas after every collection
- Using sterile collection sets for every donation
- Preparing the arm for donation with aseptic scrub
- Conducting donor mini-physicals to ensure donors are healthy and well on day of donation
- Enhanced disinfecting of equipment
- Providing hand sanitizer for use before entering and throughout the donation appointment
- Temperature checks before presenting donors enter the blood drive or donation center
- Spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between donors
- During this time, blankets typically used by platelet, Power Red and AB Elite donors at Red Cross blood donation centers will be laundered after each use, which may limit the availability. Donors are encouraged to bring their own blankets, but electric blankets and heating pads are not permitted.
Anyone who wants to donate is urged to call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org to schedule an appointment. You can also download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa-enabled device.
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