Red Cross Still Conducting Blood Drives This Week
By West Kentucky Star Staff
WESTERN KENTUCKY - The American Red Cross is urging healthy individuals to give blood or platelets after the coronavirus scare has left them with a severe shortage.

The regular cold and flu season has already impacted the nation's blood supply, and with a growing number of COVID-19 cases the number of people giving blood has dropped, and could decrease further.

Anthony Tinnin, American Red Cross organizer for western Kentucky, said our local area is suffering from a severe blood shortage. 
He said the nation as a whole has lost over 100,000 blood donations due to school and business closures.

"The CDC and FDA have both declared that blood drives are essential activities," Tinnin continued, "Just as our grocery stores or pharmacies have to stay open, blood drives must still stay open."

He also said there is currently no evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion, and that there are no reported cases of a virus being transmitted from a transfusion. 

You can donate at the Paducah Blood Donation Center, 4635 Falconcrest Drive Paducah:
3/24/2020: 8:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. 
3/26/2020: 11:45 a.m. - 6:45 p.m.
3/27/2020: 8:45 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
3/28/2020: 7:45 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
3/29/2020: 7:45 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
3/30/2020: 11:45 a.m. - 6:45 p.m.
3/31/2020: 8:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

With the current social distancing guidelines in place, Tinnin is asking everyone to set appointments rather than dropping in. 

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. Follow the instructions at the link below, or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App. 

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 seventeen years of age in most states (sixteen 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 eighteen years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

The Red Cross has implemented new blood donation restrictions out of an abundance of caution. Anyone falling under the following guidelines are asked to hold off their donation for 28 days: 

• Travel to China, Hong Kong, and Macau, as well as Italy, Iran, and South Korea. 
• Diagnosis of COVID-19, or contact with a person who has, or is suspected to have the virus. 

Published 07:12 AM, Tuesday Mar. 24, 2020
Updated 07:48 AM, Thursday Mar. 26, 2020



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