Published by Kirby Winn on Monday, May 18, 2020 in News Releases
Pandemic Response: donors needed as blood utilization is on the rise
After weeks of reduced need, patient need is increasing across MVRBC service region
(May 18, 2020) – Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) is calling on blood donors to help respond to an increase in blood utilization by hospitals within its four-state service region. After several weeks of reduced activity, hospitals have eased restrictions on elective surgeries and are now providing treatment options that were previously postponed. MVRBC is now responding to a corresponding increase in demand for blood components by local hospitals. To schedule an appointment for donation, call (800) 747-5401, visit www.bloodcenter.org, or use the Blood Center’s mobile app (www.bloodcenter.org/app).
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations that host mobile blood drives have been forced to cancel or postpone events due to temporary closures, work from home policies, and other factors. Over the last six weeks, demand for blood components has dropped to approximately 60% of normal levels. As activity increases in hospitals served by MVRBC, patient need has returned to approximately 80% of pre-pandemic levels.
“Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center relies on support from local donors and the organizations that host mobile blood drives to provide the blood supply for hospitals in our region,” said Mike Parejko, Chief Executive Officer. “We are always grateful for that support, and even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now asking additional donors and host organizations to step forward in this challenging time.”
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.
- Potential donors who are experiencing any symptoms of a COVID-19 infection or who have recently had exposure to the virus are asked to refrain from donation.
- 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 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). 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/.