PADUCAH, Ky. (June 25, 2020) — July is a time for barbeques, fireworks and summer fun. While many of these celebrations are turning into virtual events in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, seriously ill and critically injured patients continue to rely on donated blood from generous volunteer donors. That’s why the American Red Cross, WPSD Local 6, Bristol Broadcasting Company, The Paducah Sun, the Paducah McCracken Convention & Expo Center and Pizza Inn are inviting individuals to come together to give blood at the 37th Annual Donor Days Blood Drive July 8-9, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Schroeder Expo Center, 415 Park St. in Paducah, Ky., and from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Veteran's Airport,10400 Terminal Drive, #200 in Marion, IL.
All presenting donors will receive a Red Cross T-shirt and pizza from Pizza Inn*, starting at 11 a.m., while supplies last. Additionally, there will be hourly drawings for $25 gift cards, for all presenting donors. (*Pizza Inn pizza and hourly gift card drawings will be provided at the Paducah Donor Days drive only, while supplies last.)
“With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing large public gatherings, the Donor Days Blood Drive provides an opportunity for family and friends who are healthy and well to serve our neighbors and support our medical heroes by making a blood donation to help patients, while adhering to social distancing guidelines,” said Anthony Tinin, donor recruitment manager, American Red Cross Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region. “We’re proud to provide a safe and impactful way for the community to support hospital patients by boosting the blood supply while showing them we’re all in this together. ”
The 37th Annual Donor Days blood drive comes as the Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations. Donated blood may be used to help accident victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. There is no substitute for donated blood products. Each day, the Red Cross must collect nearly 13,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at about 2,600 hospitals across the country.
While all blood types are needed, those with types O, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation at this blood drive. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.
The Red Cross is now testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies for a limited time, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to this coronavirus. Donors who help support the urgent need by giving at this drive will be able to view their results 7-10 days after donation through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or at RedCrossBlood.org. (The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test.)
Blood drive safety precautions
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to ensure the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code PDD or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 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.