03
November
2020
|
17:12 PM
America/New_York

Miller-Keystone Blood Center Has Urgent Need for Donations

BY TED WILLIAMS

Miller-Keystone Blood Center (MKBC), the only blood supplier for Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and virtually all hospitals in the LVHN coverage area, is experiencing an urgent need for blood donations of all types. If you are a healthy individual, please consider donating blood as soon as possible, and be assured your donation will be done in a safe manner in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, MKBC has been forced to cancel well over 100 blood drives at area hospitals, and individual donations at the 14 MKBC donor and satellite locations have declined significantly. Blood drives have now resumed, and several steps have been implemented to ensure safety:

  • Donors must call 800-B-A-DONOR (800-223-6667) or schedule an appointment online at GIVEaPINT.org regardless of whether they are taking part in a blood drive or donating at a 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 a MKBC mobile coach, and every 30 minutes if the drive is held inside the hospital. Donors are asked to arrive as close to appointment time as possible. Donors arriving 10 and 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 their masks on until they leave 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. Donors are then guided to a donation chair, which 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.

Blood transfusions save about 4 million Americans annually. Blood is used in a variety of circumstances, such as for trauma victims, surgical patients and premature babies. The most common demand is among cancer patients, who often need daily transfusions. Trauma hospitals use the universal blood type – O-negative – to quickly transfuse necessary blood until a patient’s type can be determined. O-negative type blood is the most critical need at MKBC.

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

Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest

  • Nov. 22, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., coach (parked in front of the main entrance)

  • Jan. 12, 9 a.m-5 p.m., Educational Conference Center rooms 9 and 10

Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg

  • Dec. 9, 7 a.m.-4 p.m., coach (parked in front of the main entrance)

  • Feb. 3, 7 a.m.-4 p.m., conference rooms B, C and D

Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street

  • Feb. 16, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., auditorium

Lehigh Valley Hospital–Hazleton

  • Dec. 17, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., coach (parked in the rear of the Business and Education building)

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