QUINCY, Ill. (Nov. 3, 2020) — Give something that means something – donate blood and help ensure patients have the blood products they need. Join the American Red Cross for the 16th annual Quincy 12 Hours of Giving Blood Drive Dec. 11 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Quincy Knights of Columbus, 700 S. 36th St., in Quincy. Appointments are strongly encouraged to abide with social distancing guidelines.
Blood donors of all blood types, especially type O, and platelet donors are urgently needed to give now to keep the blood supply stable over the holidays. Blood donations often decline from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, and the COVID-19 pandemic may further impact donations. Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to sustain the blood supply throughout winter.
The Red Cross is testing blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. As part of this effort, plasma from standard blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions.
Those who attempt to help save lives will also receive a Red Cross T-shirt and be entered to win raffle prizes, while supplies last. Come to give by Dec. 15 for a chance to win an Outdoor Living Experience, powered by Propane. Prize includes a propane-powered pizza oven, fired pit, outdoor heater and stipend toward propane. Details and terms: rcblood.org/comfort
The Red Cross is partnering with KHQA-TV for this holiday blood drive. The community is invited to give the perfect gift this holiday season and participate in a long-standing tradition of helping to save patients’ lives by donating blood.
“We would never be able to host such a successful drive without the incredible support of the community,” said Jim Whitfield, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. “Year after year, the community steps up to the call for blood donations which go toward helping to save lives. We are grateful for those who respond to the
constant need for blood donations at such a critical time of the year.”
The winter months can be among the most challenging times of year for the Red Cross to collect enough blood donations. Many donors are busy with holiday activities, and inclement weather can force the cancellation of blood drives. Additionally, some donors become temporarily ineligible because of seasonal illnesses.
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. 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.
Important COVID-19 information for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may qualify to be convalescent plasma donors. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within 7 to 10 days through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
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 help protect 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.