MISSOULA — The American Red Cross is continuing to face a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations nationwide during the COVID-19 outbreak.
As of March 23, about 7,000 blood drives have been canceled across the country, resulting in more than 200,000 fewer blood donations.
Healthy individuals are needed to help patients counting on lifesaving blood throughout this pandemic.
The community is invited to give the gift of life by donating blood to the American Red Cross at Southgate Mall’s Clock Court on Friday, April 3, anytime from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Wednesday, April 8, anytime from 9 a.m. untl 3 p.m.
While Southgate Mall is currently closed for business, doors will be open for donors at the entrance near Red Robin.
“We are grateful to partner with Southgate Mall, as well as our sponsor, Missoula Organization of Realtors, at a critical time in our history,” said Alexandria Harris, Account Manager for Red Cross.
“We understand why people may be hesitant to come out for a blood drive, but want to reassure the public that we have implemented additional precautions to ensure the safety of our donors and staff in response to concern.”
Such measures include:
- Checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering the drive to make sure they are healthy
- Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process
- Spacing beds to follow social distancing practices between donors
- Increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment
- Wear gloves and changing gloves often
- Routinely wipe down donor-touched areas
- Use sterile collection sets for every donation
- Prepare the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub
If you are healthy and feeling well, please make an appointment to donate by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).