Coronavirus

American Red Cross holds blood drive in Roanoke after pandemic cancels thousands of other drives

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR News) – Since the start of the pandemic, the American Red Cross has had to cancel more than 7,000 blood drives.That’s about 200,000 units of blood that the organization wasn’t able to collect.

In an effort to make up for the need, the Roanoke Valley Chapter is hosting a blood drive at its office. The blood drive is going on from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday. You can sign up online or give them a call to schedule a time to give.

The blood drive isn’t considered a social gathering, but an emergency appeal to get blood in this time of need. The staff is taking safety very seriously.

Beds are 6-feet apart and being wiped down after every use. They are also disinfecting anything anyone touches before someone else has to use it. They are taking guests’ temperature before they walk in the room.

The executive director for the Roanoke Valley American Red Cross chapter, Jackie Grant says while businesses are shut down and many people are quarantining, emergencies are still happening and there are people who still need blood.

“Emergencies right now are not taking a break. So in the hospitals we still have traumatic injuries, we have women giving birth with postpartum hemorrhage and we also have cancer patients who are in desperate need of blood,” said Grant.

“We need you to continue to give throughout this pandemic. This is a serious issue and it’s going to continue for months and months.”

The precautions that they are taking are helping to make the donors feel comfortable.

Joseph Ashbrook donated blood Tuesday. He says with the state the country is in, he wanted to do his part and donate. He says the staff has done a great job to stop the spread of germs with all the extra cleaning.

“Everything is sanitized here. I don’t think you’ll have any problem with catching a virus or bacteria or any kind of germs from anywhere so just get out and do your part and that’s all you can do. Just do what you can do,” Ashbrook said.

For more information and to sign up to donate click here.

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