The American Red Cross said they’re now facing a “severe blood shortage,” as blood drives across the country continue to be cancelled as concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic grow….
As of Tuesday morning, nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives in the U.S. have been cancelled, resulting in approximately 86,000 fewer blood donations, according to a statement from the organization….
If you are capable of safely donating blood and you are in a low risk group regarding COVID-19, please find a way to make a donation this weekend. I’m scheduled to donate a pint on Thursday morning. It will be an excellent excuse for a face to face conversation with people that I am not related to.
We’re in this together, so let’s start bleeding.
i have an appointment for tomorrow, let’s do this small thing to help.
Please note that other blood products- platelets, plasma, etc.- can be even more valuable, and you’re eligible to donate more frequently than whole blood. They typically take longer to donate, but these days plenty of people will have the time. And donating blood or blood products is a great excuse to get out of the house if you’re feeling cooped up. I donated platelets last Thursday, so I’m not eligible to donate this weekend, but I am scheduled to donate next Thursday.
Also, too, if you’re eligible (under 40 and in good enough health to donate blood), you should sign up with Be The Match. Your chances of being called to donate are slim, but if you are called it’s a unique opportunity to save a life.
Schedule an appointment! I naively walked in last saturday, and was told the wait would have been up to 2hrs as they prioritize existing appointments over walk-ins. I scheduled while I was there, and will be donating blood Thursday night.
Major Major Major Major
Can gays donate yet or is my O- still not good enough
I gave about march 5. I know my next eligible is cinco de mayo.
Anybody else get the hard sell to give platelets via the filtering machine? I hated it.
I think I did it at least twice, though.
My BP is fairly low, and it would regularly alarm on low suction, unless I furiously pumped the
I went back to regular whole blood donation. Also 3 times faster.
@Major Major Major Major: They still look askance at my gay O+, since I have sex with my husband.
I still can’t donate because of mad cow disease.
Major Major Major Major
@Icedfire: The horror!
@Major Major Major Major:
You’re still not allowed to donate if you’ve had sex with another man in the past 12 months. You’re also not allowed to donate if you’ve lived for more than 3 months in the UK between 1980 and 1996, more than 5 years in Europe after 1980, have traveled to an area with endemic malaria in the past 3 years, or have had a tattoo or piercing in the past 12 months. There are also a whole bunch of drugs that prevent you from donating for various lengths of time after taking them, anywhere from a few days to the rest of your life.
Thanks for the prompt – just made an appointment and I guess I’m not the only one, the soonest they could get me in is next Thursday(!)
Red Cross, c’mon man, you can use my garage if you want a non-hospital/non-ER site to do one of these things!
But still. Thanks David!
I would seriously consider donnating platlets (and glad to hear about someone doing that!) but being over 60, currently shouldn’t be out there. Aside, I’ve donnate many times (whole blood) since I was 18.
Gin & Tonic
@Roger Moore: They recently rescinded my “permanent” deferral for having had babesiosis. I’m eligible again next week, so I’ve made an appointment.
How the fuck am I supposed to donate blood when I’M NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH A GODDAMNED THING OUTSIDE OF MY FRONT DOOR?!?
I’ve donated quite a lot over the years; used to do challenges on who gets the bag filled first. I almost always won. I drain like a madman if they get the vein…
…but I wonder if the medicine I am on DQ’s me? If anyone has any great links on what medicines DQ a person I, like Ross Perot, am all ears (truth, especially after going Kojak yesterday).
I got the hard sell until I finally gave in. I can do two units in about 2 hours. I also have problems with the machine alarming, mostly because I have side veins*. I find that pumping my hand does very little to help with the alarms. The nurses actually discourage me from pumping too hard, since they say tensing up the muscles can close off the vein. Instead, they keep my arm warm and turn down the flow rate. The apheresis nurses at my work are really good at what they do. At any rate, I’ve toughed it out through about 140 donations.
*Some people have a single, large vein in the hollow of their elbow, and others have two smaller veins on either side. The large vein makes for easier donations.
How the hell do you know if you’re in a “low risk” group? It seems like every day I read something suggesting there ain’t no such animal; previously healthy people catch it and it can be bad, YOUNG people can catch it and it can be bad, athletes can catch it and it can be…etc etc etc.
Makes me feel better to know the blood centers are busy–I stopped off at one last Thursday without an appointment, waited for over an hour to be seen, only to be turned away because my iron was too low. So now I’m working on that.
I suppose the idea is for each of us to flatten the curve as best we can, but assume that sooner or later, we’ll either get it, or (if lucky) either miss it or get a mild version.
Stay safe, everybody.
@Gin & Tonic:
Wow. I’ve seen babesiosis on the questionnaire and never given it much thought except to think it must suck to have had it.
Went Tuesday after work.
Here’s the Red Cross’s list of drugs and their deferral times. It’s not listed there, but if you’re donating platelets, you’re not supposed to take aspirin or ibuprofen in any form for 48 hours before donating.
Arthritis-type drugs and blood thinners. They don’t want anyone with autoimmune disorders. If you have asthma, it has to be “well controlled.” Not sure how they define that. Four strikes, so I’m out.
Upper right corner, find locations near you: https://www.redcrossblood.org/
78 & compromised, I’ve decided I’d better not.
Gin & Tonic
@Roger Moore: It did.
It’s not the autoimmune disorders they’re worried about. They don’t want blood that’s full of blood thinners, since they really want the blood to be able to clot, and many anti-inflammatory drugs are also anticoagulants (e.g. aspirin). There are also a bunch of drugs for skin conditions that are teratogens, and they don’t want to infuse those into a pregnant woman. And there are a few oddballs like bovine insulin from the UK and growth hormone from human cadavers, which might contain prions.
I donate every 8 weeks. I think I’m eligible again on March 24th. Hopefully I can stay well another week. I wonder if they are doing any screening for corona since some donors may be symptom free?
I wish I could donate, especially my O-, but I currently don’t weigh enough and the Covid anxiety isn’t helping that.
Grateful that you posted this and for all you who donated blood products.
The last time I donated, they only asked questions about exposure and symptoms. They checked my temperature, but they always do that anyway. They still don’t have enough test kits to test anyone but the highest priority patients, much less every blood donor.
My rheumatoid arthritis rules me out for life. I admire all of you so much for your devotion. I have to have transfusions after surgery and have had a lot of surgeries, so thank you for saving my life.
My blood is unwanted due to potential Mad Cow disease from the early ’90s.
You were Republican? [ref. Charlie Peirce “Republican prion disease.]
Considering donating, but are they testing incoming blood for COVID? What if I am in the asymptomatic phase and don’t know?
@Roger Moore: @captnkurt: Yeah that’s my experience. I was just wondering if there is any danger of transmitting COVID-19 through blood; but apparently there’s no evidence of this – so donate away! https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/coronavirus–covid-19–and-blood-donation.html
I can’t donate. 1) I’m over 65, so I’m a high risk group. 2) A few years ago I donated and got a false positive on the HIV test. My doctor double checked and it WAS false, but once that happens you are out forever. I’ll talk to my kids about donating.
Sorry, can’t do it. I’m social distancing.
@captnkurt: I read that they are not testing for COVID-19 for blood donations. I also read that it is not transferred through blood, but I don’t have a link to verify that, so take it for what that’s worth.
Most autoimmune disorders also involve anemia which is disqualifying. Plus science still isn’t totally sure of all of the effects autoimmune disorders may have on a body.
My blood donation CSB. Gave about 8 years ago. A couple of weeks earlier, I had had a one-off 24 hour bug, ran a fever, threw on some sweatclothes and buried myself in blankets. Figured I had fought something off, no big deal.
So I ended up getting a call from the County Health department. They had to toss my blood since it tested positive for West Nile. I took the follow up tests and got cleared to give again a year or two later. Haven’t given since. I guess I should set something up for after tax season.
@WaterGirl: according the Red Cross website
? I want to help but as I’ve said before – I lived in the U.K. within the last five years and sustained in Europe for too long to be permitted. I try when we have them at my work and they kick me out.
While I’ve aged out of whole blood donations after doing son the regular since 17, spouse is a high frequency donor of platelets and plasma. He was at the blood source yesterday and reported that it was packed to the rafters with walk ins due to the sudden availability of off work workers here in Sacramento. If you can donate, do it, you’ll feel good, get a snack and likely a tee shirt.
Curious if there’s regions were donations are more and less common.
Put me in the autoimmune disorder category.
What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?
I’m 50 and a half. Healthy weight and still no known health issues. Is that low risk? My big concern isn’t for myself but my 80 year old mother in law is living with us and I don’t want to bring it home to her.
Not being able to donate blood is one thing I really dislike about having had cancer a few years back,. I don’t have cancer now (thanks mainly to massive gamma radiation), but I’m permanently deferred from donating – oncologist’s orders. I gave a bit over 8 gallons in my lifetime and had a goal of giving a full half barrel keg.
I can’t give. Mad cow danger.
I couldn’t donate blood for years after returning from the Peace Corps because I was in a malaria zone. But I have no excuse now.
A bit off-topic. But if ever there were some evil folks who were in need of their online lives doxed and ruined, it’s these folks who are trying to get COVID testing shut down due to patent trolling. Click through to the article and all the horrible attorneys and people involved in this are named.
Don’t forget to mention the “low risk” requirements still in place for other conditions.
For example, I am an HIV risk AND a BSE risk (lived in the UK in the 80s). Plus one or two other factors. Red Cross is still screening for all of those.
My niece who is home from the hospital with corona virus will be on Erin Burnett’s show tonight, then on Tucker Carlson. I slandered her in comments on this blog a few days ago about taking unnecessary risks. Turns out I had my facts completely wrong and she caught it locally while being careful. I really admire her going so public as a community service. Blowback has been harsh
She is still really sick. Weak as a kitten. But she is alive so that is very good.
@What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?: I would not go if my 80-year old mother lived with me.
Wow, hope she recovers, but why would she subject herself to Tucker Carlson and his fellow skeptics?
@wmd: Rolling a barrel of blood into the Red Cross would be pretty metal.
@Martin: Martin, did you want to do the Assessment post today, or wait?
@WaterGirl: Sure. I’m around more now.
@Martin: Okay. TaMara just put up a post from WereBear, so I’ll wait a reasonable amount of time and then put it up.
Wondering how your daughter is doing.
Donating blood is a proud thing I do. I don’t have certain antibodies 80% of population has making their blood bad for babies. How it is I didn’t get whatever disease it was is incomprehensible but true. And mine is the old blood of our distant ancestors and universal. Always thought it was interesting my blood is in common with diverse human types that don’t appear like me in any other way. But we share blood type.
My next donation isn’t until April. I may be wrong but I thought it was 3 months between drainages. Either way, for me, it is debilitating for awhile after. I even react to the stretchy banding wrapped around the injection site. And always, bruises and sore. Martyr me. But I like thinking I have to bulk back up afterwards to replenish the lost volume. And that some little baby’s got me working for them.
@wmd: My father had donated over 10 gallons before they stopped letting us donate (for having lived in Ireland during the mad cow era). I wonder if they will ever lift that restriction?
Here’s the Red Cross eligibility criteria: https://www.redcrossblood.org/faq.html#eligibility
If you’re considering donating, then scan through the list. Better now than signing up to donate and then discovering when you’re at the donation site that you’re not eligible; you’ll have to attest to all these criteria at that time anyway.
I last donated on February 29th, so I’m not eligible until April 25th…. 56 days between whole blood donations. It differs for other types of blood donations. ($$$ donations have no waiting period, btw.)
Is there any concern that donors could be asymptomatic carriers?
This is my shocked, shocked face.
LIz Dye at Wonkette – Good Lord, is he going to crash the market every day with these batsh*t pressers?.
@catclub: platelets only last a week, so there’s a constant need for them.
My local Red Cross Center has Netflix for platelets donors (takes two hours, generally), which makes it a bit easier. I do tend to get antsy at the one hour 45 minute mark, though.
Good evening, jackals and jackalettes !
Used to donate fairly regularly, but the heart drugs I’m taking now rule it out (DON’T TAKE THIS IF YOU’RE PREGNANT, the PPI says)
Otherwise, am doing OK, knock on wood. Lotsa stuf to do in my place (housecleaning, my conscience sez), and ‘could do this if I had that one part’ projects (1/8″ basswood sheet, anyone?)
Stay loose, sleep tight, keep hydrated, and don’t lick any wooden nickles.
@RandyG: The Red Cross needs to collectively decide that since a) there’s no scientific basis to assume that if someone spent 3 months in the UK in 1986 that they logically have asymptomatic vCJD and b) there is no documented transmission of vCJD through blood contact, it may be time to lift that particular travel ban.
I am scheduled for my regular double-blood donation this evening. I am doing my bit.
Stay safe and WASH YOUR HANDS!!