Published by Kirby Winn on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 in News Releases
(January 26, 2021 | Davenport, Iowa) – Widespread snowfall, high winds, and freezing temperatures have taken a toll on our region’s blood supply. This week’s storm across eastern Iowa and western Illinois and has led to an estimated 250 donations lost due to cancelled blood drives and donors’ inability to travel for scheduled donations. Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) is seeking additional donors to help recoup lost donations and ensure the local blood supply remains strong. Donors may find a nearby Donor Center or mobile blood drive by calling (800) 747-5401, by scheduling online at www.bloodcenter.org, or by using the IMPACT mobile app (www.bloodcenter.org/app).
The Blood Center collected approximately 70% of its daily projection on Monday, Jan. 25, with losses concentrated in areas hit by the storm. With additional blood drive and appointment cancellations on Tuesday, Jan. 26, total losses are estimated to exceed 250 donations.
“Patient need at the hospitals we serve never stops,” said Amanda Hess, Director, Donor and Public Relations. “Everyone who steps forward to give blood will ensure our ability to provide a sufficient blood supply for hospitals in our region.”
To recognize donors who provide this lifesaving resource, the Blood Center will provide all registered donors with a voucher that can be redeemed online or by phone for a green “Count on Me to save lives” T-Shirt or gift card. Vouchers will be distributed at MVRBC Donor Centers and mobile blood drives through Feb. 28.
ONGOING NEED FOR DONORS IN COVID-19 PANDEMIC
MVRBC reminds donors that blood donation is an approved, essential activity even as government bodies urge citizens to limit trips outside the home to contain the spread of COVID-19. Blood donation has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic because transfusions are given on an ongoing basis at hospitals throughout our region. MVRBC has taken steps to ensure blood drives remain an acceptable and safe activity under federal, state, and local public health guidelines. All donors are required to schedule an appointment for donation and all staff, donors, and volunteers are required to wear a mask.
To maintain a safe, hygienic environment at Donor Centers and blood drives:
- All staff and donors are now required to wear a face covering while inside Donor Centers or participating in a mobile blood drive. Paper masks will be provided for those who arrive without their own mask or facial covering.
- Donors are now required to make appointments for donation. To maintain social distancing and appropriate donor flow, walk-ins will only be accepted when an appointment slot is available.
- Please do not give blood if you are experiencing any symptoms of a COVID-19 infection or have in the last 14 days been within six feet of someone who has the virus or is being tested for the virus for greater than 15 minutes without use of personal protective equipment.
- Prior to donation, donors are screened for symptoms of illness (body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and hemoglobin level all are checked, and the donor completes a pre-donation Donor History Questionnaire).
- When possible, donors are asked to complete the Donor History Questionnaire online on the same day as their donation (see www.bloodcenter.org/EarlyQ)
- Staff have added space between chairs in screening areas and in the post-donation refreshment area. Between donations, staff wipe down chairs and surfaces to maintain a safe, hygienic environment.
About Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center
Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC), based in Davenport, Iowa, serves more than 115 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin, as well as resource sharing partners across the country. The Blood Center’s service region extends from southwestern Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri and from Danville, Illinois to Chariton, Iowa. The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit blood center was established in 1974 and operates as Central Illinois Community Blood Center (Springfield, Illinois) and Community Blood Services of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana, Illinois).
The Blood Center’s service region extends from southwestern Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri and from Danville, Illinois to Chariton, Iowa. For more information, see www.bloodcenter.org and visit the Blood Center’s social media channels: www.facebook.com/MVRBC, www.twitter.com/willyougive, www.youtube.com/MVRBC, and www.instagram.com/willyougive/.