Red Cross Urges Healthy Individuals to Give Blood
By West Kentucky Star & American Red Cross
PADUCAH - Cold and flu season has already impacted the nation’s ability to maintain its blood supply. As the number of coronavirus cases grows in the U.S., the number of people eligible to give blood for patients in need could decrease further. 

“We’re asking the American people to help keep the blood supply stable during this challenging time. As communities across the country prepare for this public health emergency, it’s critical that plans include a readily available blood supply for hospital patients,” said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Blood Services. “As fears of coronavirus rise, low donor participation could harm blood availability at hospitals, and the last thing a patient should worry about is whether lifesaving blood will be on the shelf when they need it most.”

Please make an appointment to donate blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Blood donors with type O blood and platelet donors are especially needed right now. 

Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. There are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus, including this coronavirus, from a transfusion.

The Red Cross only collects blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation – and who meet other eligibility requirements, available at At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols including wearing gloves, routinely wiping down donor-touched areas, using sterile collection sets for every donation, and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub. These mitigation measures will help ensure blood recipient safety, as well as staff and donor safety in reducing contact with those who may potentially have this respiratory infection. 

Blood drive hosts also play a critical role in maintaining a sufficient blood supply and are asked to keep hosting blood drives for patients who rely on lifesaving blood. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need of transfusions.
The Red Cross, with the help of its blood drive hosts and blood donors, can help ensure the safety and availability of the U.S. blood supply for patients including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

“Keep giving, keep hosting blood drives,” said Hrouda. “Patients across the country need our help.”

To learn more about hosting a blood drive for patients in need, please visit

The top priority of the Red Cross is the safety of our valued staff, blood donors and blood recipients, and we are committed to transparency with the American public during this evolving public health emergency. There are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus, from a transfusion. 

Nonetheless, the Red Cross has implemented new blood donation deferrals out of an abundance of caution. Individuals are asked to postpone their donation for 28 days following:
• Travel to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Iran, Italy and South Korea;
• Diagnosis of COVID-19, contact with a person who has or is suspected to have the virus.

As the situation evolves, the Red Cross will continue to evaluate all emerging risks in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and industry partners to determine if additional intervention strategies are needed. Together, we stand ready to keep the American public informed and prepared.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities, March 10-31:
American Legion, 211 South 7th Mayfield, KY 42066
3/24/2020: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Ballard County Elementary, 3561 Paducah Road Barlow, KY 42024
3/25/2020: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Big Sandy Senior Citizen's Center, 224 2nd Ave. Big Sandy, TN 38221
3/20/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Century Unit School District 100, 4721 Shawnee College Road Ullin, IL 62992
3/19/2020: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
CFSB Center, 1401 KY-121 Murray, KY 42071
3/25/2020: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Cypress Grade School, 4580 Mt. Pisgah Road Cypress, IL 62923
3/11/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Fancy Farm Elementary School, 270 St Rt 339 S Fancy Farm, KY 42039
3/17/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Fellowship Baptist Church, 890 Senior Ave. Vienna, IL 62995
3/16/2020: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
First Baptist Church, 115 Second St. Fulton, KY 42041
3/10/2020: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
First United Methodist Church, 210 South Washington St. Clinton, KY 42031
3/23/2020: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Fredonia First Baptist Church, 208 Cassidy St. Fredonia, KY 42411
3/30/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Lowes Elementary School, 6775 State RT. 440 Lowes, KY 42061
3/12/2020: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Lowe's Home Improvement Murray, 1400 Lowes Drive Murray, KY 42071
3/31/2020: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Marshall County Hospital, 615 Old Symsonia Road Benton, KY 42025
3/19/2020: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Mayfield Elementary School, 1004 Backusburg Rd.  Mayfield, KY 42066
3/30/2020: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Mercy Health Lourdes Hospital, 1530 Lone Oak Road Paducah, KY 42003
3/18/2020: 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 9701 Blandville Road West Paducah, KY 42086
3/15/2020: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
North Calloway Elementary, 2928 Brinn Road Murray, KY 42071
3/27/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.
North Marshall Middle School, 3110 Hwy 95  Calvert City, KY 42029
3/18/2020: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Paducah Blood Donation Center, 4635 Falconcrest Drive Paducah, KY 42001
3/10/2020: 8:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
3/12/2020: 11:45 a.m. - 6:45 p.m.
3/13/2020: 8:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
3/14/2020: 7:45 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
3/15/2020: 7:45 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
3/16/2020: 11:45 a.m. - 6:45 p.m.
3/17/2020: 8:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
3/19/2020: 11:45 a.m. - 6:45 p.m.
3/20/2020: 8:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
3/21/2020: 7:45 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
3/22/2020: 7:45 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
3/23/2020: 11:45 a.m. - 6:45 p.m.
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.

Sedalia Elementary School, 5252 State Route 97 Mayfield, KY 42066
3/12/2020: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.
South Marshall Elementary School, 155 Sid Darnell Road Benton, KY 42025
3/11/2020: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Southwest Calloway Elementary, 3426 Wiswell Road Murray, KY 42071
3/13/2020: noon - 5 p.m.
St. John's Episcopal Church, 1620 West Main St Murray, KY 42071
3/12/2020: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Woodmen Life, 1005 Poplar Street Benton, KY 42025
3/16/2020: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.

A blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes. 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. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at 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 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.

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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Published 09:00 PM, Tuesday Mar. 10, 2020
Updated 11:13 PM, Tuesday Mar. 10, 2020



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