American Red Cross says donating blood is safe for those that are healthy

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CHARLESTON, S.C (WCBD) – While their mobile units have been taken out of circulation due to the inability to social distance, the American Red Cross assures that donating blood is still safe.  

With their normal collection sites such as school and universities closed down—Ashley Henyan, the Executive Director for the Lowcountry Red Cross said, they’ve seen the community come together to offer other alternatives.   

Say you normally had a blood drive in a school, maybe there’s a church nearby and there’s a church that’s able to open up. We might utilize that space. So it’s been really nice seeing neighbors helping neighbors right now and making sure that we have large open spaces to host our blood drives.  

Ashley Henyan, Executive Director for the Lowcountry Red Cross 

In addition to re-working their practices to guarantee they are able social distance donors from one another, the Red Cross is furthering ambitions for safety by using masks.

We’re making sure that donors are wearing masks—they are encouraged to bring one to their donation appointment. If they do not have one, the Red Cross will provide them with one and we’re also making sure is our staff is wearing one as well.  

Ashley Henyan, Executive Director for the Lowcountry Red Cross 

As practiced pre-COVID-19, staff is continuing to wear gloves during the collection process. Now, the organization has added in extra measures of disinfecting certain surfaces.

They’re also wiping down the donation beds each donor. And then we’re providing hand sanitizer for each donor through deposits because there’s certain equipment that needs to be touched by folks along like way like iPads for registration and things like that.  

Ashley Henyan, Executive Director for the Lowcountry Red Cross 

Pandemic, or not, due to it’s shelf life, blood is always needed. 

There’s always a need for constant supply of blood coming in from regular donors.  

Ashley Henyan, Executive Director for the Lowcountry Red Cross 

To donate blood, you must be completely healthy, weigh at least 110 lbs or more, and in some states you must be at least 16 years of age.

If you plan on visiting one of the Red Cross’s two Lowcountry centers, or a donation drive, be sure to make an appointment first. Making an appointment will allow them the opportunity to ensure they have enough staff on hand to adhere to the crowd and social distancing regulations.

The Red Cross is also continuing to assist those impacted by the April 13th tornadoes that plagued South Carolina. For more information on their efforts, click here.

To find a location nearest to you for donations, click here.

To read more about the safety protocols being taken in light of COVID-19, click here.

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