This January, the American Red Cross celebrates National Blood Donor Month and recognizes the life-saving contributions from blood, platelet, and plasma donors. As we begin the New Year, the Red Cross and CDC are encouraging individuals to donate blood and plasma if they are well and able to do so, while continuing to practice safe social-distancing due to COVID-19.
The CDC is supporting blood centers by providing recommendations that will keep donors and staff safe. Examples of these recommendations include spacing donor chairs six feet apart, thoroughly adhering to environmental cleaning practices, and encouraging donors to make donation appointments ahead of time.
It is also important to note that people who have recovered from COVID-19 may have antibodies in their blood that may help treat people who have recently contracted the virus. According to the CDC, so far over 40,000 patients have received plasma treatments for COVID-19, so donating both blood and blood plasma are equally important to consider as they are both in high demand.
Blood donation appointments can be made by downloading the Blood Donor American Red Cross App on your smart phone or device, or by visiting redcrossblood.org. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for all patients. Find out if you are eligible and how to donate plasma at www.coronavirus.gov.