21
January
2021
|
11:00 AM
America/New_York

Critical Need for Blood Continues

BY TED WILLIAMS 

With COVID-19 still impacting our community, Miller-Keystone Blood Center (MKBC) continues to have an urgent need for blood donations of all types. Please consider donating blood as soon as possible. Your donation helps people who receive cancer treatment, need surgery or suffer a traumatic injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has some updated COVID-19 guidelines to keep in mind before donating.

Blood donor guidance

You are eligible to donate blood if you:

  • Had a positive COVID-19 test but have been symptom-free for at least 14 days

  • Had a negative COVID-19 test

  • Had COVID-19 symptoms but have been symptom-free for at least 14 days

  • Have not received convalescent plasma, red blood cell, plasma or platelet transfusion in the past three months

You are not eligible to donate blood if you:

  • Received a COVID-19 vaccination (you must wait two weeks after being vaccinated to qualify)

  • Received convalescent plasma, red blood cell, plasma or platelet transfusion in the past three months

  • Currently have COVID-19 symptoms or have not been symptom-free for 14 days

Convalescent plasma donor guidance

Convalescent plasma, which is donated by people who have recovered from COVID-19, continues to be needed. However, you cannot donate convalescent plasma if you:

  • Received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine

  • Received convalescent plasma, red blood cell, plasma or platelet transfusion in the past three months

  • Currently have COVID-19 symptoms or have not been symptom-free for 14 days

Appointment required for blood or plasma donation

Donors must call 800-B-A-DONOR (800-223-6667) to schedule an appointment, or schedule online at GIVEaPINT.org regardless of whether you are taking part in a blood drive or donating at an MKBC location. Walk-in donations are not permitted at any MKBC location until further notice.

  • All donors complete a health screening online at GIVEaPINT.org prior to arrival. Only healthy individuals can donate. If you wake up feeling ill on the day of your appointment, please reschedule.

  • At blood drives, donors are scheduled every 20 minutes if the drive is held in an MKBC mobile coach, and every 30 minutes if the drive is held inside a hospital. Donors are asked to arrive as close to appointment time as possible. Donors arriving 10 (or more) minutes late will most likely be asked to reschedule.

  • All donors and MKBC staff members are required to wear masks upon entering the facility and to keep masks on until leaving the facility. All staff members are required to wear personal protective equipment and face shields during donations.

  • The temperatures of all donors and staff members are taken before entry to any MKBC facility is permitted. All donors and staff members are asked to avoid touching their nose, eyes, mouth and face, as well as pay attention to coughing and sneezing hygiene.

  • A trained medical screener will take a donor’s blood pressure and do a final health screening prior to donation. Donation chairs are spaced at least 6 feet apart to ensure social distancing.

  • All high-touch areas throughout the facility are disinfected and sanitized regularly.

  • Donors will receive snacks during recovery time, where they are watched for a time in the unlikely event of a reaction to donating blood. Upon release, donors are asked to leave the area.

Upcoming MKBC blood drives that you can schedule a blood donation include:

Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest

  • March 9, 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Cancer Center, Conference Rooms 1, 2, and 3

  • May 6, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., coach outside main entrance

Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg

  • Feb. 3, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., coach outside main entrance

  • April 7, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., conference rooms B, C & D

Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street

  • Feb. 2, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., auditorium

  • April 13, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., auditorium

Lehigh Valley HospitalHazleton

  • 17, 12-5:30 p.m., Business and Education Center, first floor EMI room

  • April 15, 12-5:30 p.m., Business and Education Center, first floor EMI room

LVHN–Mack Boulevard

  • 17, 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., coach outside north entrance

  • April 15, 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., coach outside north entrance

Schedule a blood donation with Miller-Keystone Blood Center by calling 800-B-A-DONOR (800-223-6667) or visiting GIVEaPINT.org.