Blood Assurance In Critical Need Of Young Generation Of Blood Donors
Monday, September 21, 2020
Blood Assurance is making an appeal for millennial and Gen Z donors due to low donor turnout and continuous blood drive cancellations throughout their schools and work places. Less than one day’s supply of O-negative, O-positive and B-negative remains on the shelf. A-positive, A-negative and B-positive red cells are also in need at this time, with only two day’s supply available.
“High school aged donors are down from 16 percent to only 4 percent of the blood donor population this year according to Blood Centers of America.
We need our community of younger donors to come out in full force to ensure we have what we need for our local patients,” said Dr. Elizabeth Culler, medical director at Blood Assurance. “COVID-19 has limited our ability to collect at schools, manufacturing plants and offices. We need people with these blood types to give at a center or drive near them as soon as possible.”
"Blood Assurance is asking everyone with these blood types who can donate blood to please do so during this time of critical need," officials said. "As the community starts to return to their normal activities such as work, school and vacation, hospital usage also increases because of things such as auto accidents, major surgeries, babies getting sick and cancer patients needing treatments. Donating blood with Blood Assurance is the only way patients in this area will be able to receive the blood products they need."
All donors 18+ who give twice between June 1 and Sept. 30 can be entered to win a Big Green Egg grill. It is not too late to win. Donors can donate two units of red cells at one time if they are eligible and will be entered to win as well. Donors can also encourage a friend, co-worker or family member to make an appointment to donate and will receive an extra entry to win the Big Green Egg. Blood Assurance will be giving three Big Green Eggs away to three donors who give during June through September.
High School students who donate twice now through Dec. 31 will be entered to win a brand new PS5. Blood Assurance is celebrating the class of heroes this fall with a special t-shirt gift as well. Lack of school drives during the pandemic have impacted the blood supply. Blood Assurance is making it as convenient as possible for students to donate at a center or neighborhood drive near them, officials said.
Blood Assurance is continuing to take extra precautions at this time to ensure the safety of donors and staff. Staff and donors are required to wear masks and staff are frequently disinfecting all items and surfaces used by donors. They are also accepting donors by appointment only and these appointments are being spaced apart to ensure adequate distance. Blood donation is essential to the infrastructure of healthcare and the only way to ensure patients have the blood they need is for people to donate. Blood cannot be manufactured and all blood used in community hospitals is from volunteer donors.
To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating. To schedule an appointment or find a donor center or mobile drive near you, visit www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE’ to 999777.