By CARL GREEN
Edwardsville, IL – With the American Red Cross reporting a severe shortage of blood, platelets and plasma, Illinois state representatives are asking residents to consider making donations.
The Red Cross has set up a donation center at 10886 Lincoln Trail in Fairview Heights, Ill. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-REDCROSS (800-733-2767) or schedule your time online at redcrossblood.org/give.
The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center operates throughout the St. Louis region. To contact the Mississippi Valley blood center, call 1-800-747-5401 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“While we each should be taking precautions to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our own communities, many victims of trauma, cancer and other chronic illnesses still rely on lifesaving blood donations,” said State Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville).
“As the governor and president have set restrictions on the number of people who can gather at one place, an unprecedented number of blood drives have been cancelled, causing a severe shortage of blood, plasma and platelets.”
BLOOD CENTERS TAKING EXTRA HEALTH PRECAUTIONS
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the blood centers are taking extra precautions including enhanced disinfecting of equipment, more distance between donation beds, temperature checks, changing gloves between donors and use of hand sanitizer. To reduce the time spent at the blood center, donors can complete the blood history questionnaire while at home.
State Representative Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) said resources for other diseases and injuries that require blood transfusions are under increasing pressure because of the virus’ spread.
“While our national attention is on the coronavirus, other health issues, like anemia, serious injuries, surgeries and cancer that require blood continue at pre-pandemic rates,” he said. “If you are healthy and eligible, it is critical to donate now.”
Stuart added: “The blood shortage could turn out to be very dangerous, as blood availability could literally mean life or death for people needing transfusions.”
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
To schedule an appointment to donate at the Fairview Heights blood center, call 1-800-REDCROSS (800-733-2767) or go online to redcrossblood.org/give.
To schedule an appointment at the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, which operates throughout the St. Louis region, call 1-800-747-5401 or go to email@example.com.