Community Blood Bank Ramps Up Safety as Donation Need Continues
Appointments and extra precautions underway at CBB
As this week marks itself the deadliest so far for COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and cases in Erie County continue to slowly rise, further precautions need to be taken when donating blood. However, donations are still needed.
The Community Blood Bank (CBB) is urging donors to make an appointment before arriving at the Erie Donation Center in order to maintain social distancing and limit the amount of people at the blood collection location.
Jaclyn Seymour, the community relations specialist for the CBB, said the high schools and colleges make up around 20% of overall blood donations, so there is a need for blood donations in the community currently with the school closures.
The week following the schools closing, there was an initial surge of donations that helped make up for a lot of that loss, but the CBB is asking that people still come in to donate.
"With the amazing turnout and cutting back elective surgeries, the need has gone down as well," Seymour said, "But there are accidents, illnesses and traumas every day no matter what is going on."
The CBB is using precautionary measures to ensure the safety and health of all donors. These measures include all staff members wearing masks, taking the temperatures of all personnel at the blood collection location prior to entering the blood drive, extra sanitation measures between every donor, and further space between chairs and collection beds.
With talk of reopening parts of the economy, Seymour said there are unknowns about what will happen and they are trying their best to prepare for that.
"We certainly hope we don't have to get to that place where we have to tell people we are in a critical shortage again," Seymour emphasized.
The CBB is the exclusive blood supplier to the local hospitals, so maintaining a sufficient blood supply is essential to ensure patients in need can receive optimal treatment. By donating, disruptions caused by the quarantine orders are minimized.
Although all blood types are needed, currently O+, O-, and type A are in the highest demand.
Seymour also mentioned that in accordance with Gov. Wolf's orders, all donors will need to wear facial coverings starting next week.
To determine if you are eligible to donate or to see the Erie Donation Center hours, visit www.fourhearts.org. To make an appointment, donors can call 814-456-4206.
Chloe Forbes can be reached at @firstname.lastname@example.org