Community members encouraged to donate during blood drive Tuesday
Tidelands Health is teaming with the American Red Cross to hold a blood drive Tuesday to help replenish a shortage in supply amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The blood drive will be Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tidelands Health Conference Center, 4367 Riverwood Drive in Murrells Inlet.
Officials encourage healthy individuals to donate. The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage because an unprecedented number of blood drives have been canceled during the coronavirus outbreak. Throughout the United States, nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled recently, resulting in 86,000 fewer blood donations, according to the American Red Cross.
Tidelands Health has not experienced a critical shortage of blood supply as a result of the national decline but has implemented strategies to safeguard its supply. The health system encourages community members to donate to help make sure the supply doesn’t reach a critical point.
“Our community members always come through to help during challenging times,” said Adam Mattox, director of laboratory services at Tidelands Health. “We know we can count on them to donate blood to help make sure our health system has the supply we need as we continue providing necessary health care to a variety of conditions and emergencies amid the coronavirus pandemic.”
Blood drive organizers are taking extra steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Donors will have their temperatures taken upon arrival, and those with a temperature of 99.5 degrees or higher will not be allowed to donate. Anyone feeling sick or experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath should stay home and consider donating when they’re well.
Organizers will be frequently disinfecting surfaces and providing additional hand sanitizer for donors and volunteers to use.
Blood drive workers will also be practicing social distancing in interactions with others and providing additional space between donors.
Blood donors must be healthy, at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. Be sure to bring a valid ID.
“Many of us want to do what we can to help our neighbors and community amid this pandemic,” Mattox said. “Donating blood is one way you can help.”