Here’s where you can give blood to help Alabama’s critical need

Here’s where you can give blood to help Alabama’s critical need
Blood supplies are critically short as COVID-19 has disrupted donations. (contributed)

Coronavirus concerns have scattered students from school and employees from their offices, which are crippling blows for organizations that count on those institutions to participate in giving blood.

“In the last few weeks, we’ve lost more than 5,000 blood drives across the U.S.,” said Annette Rowland with the Alabama region of the American Red Cross. “That translates to more than 170,000 individual donations.”

There are a number of opportunities to give blood and address the critical need. (contributed)

The effects have been felt in the Alabama-Mississippi region as well, which are down more than 3,000 units from the 83 collection opportunities that were canceled.

“We are doing more to meet people where they are in order to get donations – neighborhoods, shopping centers – but as the situation continues to evolve, cancelations happen without much advance notice,” Rowland said.

Pop-up donation locations are typically advertised in advance on the organization’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Those administering blood donations for the Red Cross and LifeSouth are taking additional precautions to keep their mobile facilities clean and maintaining proper distance between those who are there.

If you’re healthy and feeling well, there’s a great chance you’re eligible to give. But if you have a fever, a cough or shortness of breath, then wait until you’re better. Those who have had contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or displaying symptoms within the past 14 days should wait. If you have been suspected of having or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you need to wait 28 days after full recovery to give blood.

“We don’t screen for coronavirus but we are checking temperatures of staff and potential donors before allowing them to participate,” Rowland said.

How to find a place to give blood

LifeSouth Community Blood Centers operates several donation centers around Alabama. You can find upcoming opportunities near you with this online tool, which covers both fixed locations and mobile units. LifeSouth is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The American Red Cross allows you to schedule an appointment by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

UAB is holding an emergency blood drive through the end of next week with the Red Cross and LifeSouth.

There is an urgent need for blood in Alabama and across the nation as the coronavirus takes its toll on supplies. The U.S. Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration all are urging people to donate during this crisis. (contributed)

Originally planned for the UAB Medical Center-North Pavilion the emergency blood drive will now take place at 3419 Colonnade Parkway #400, adjacent to the Flying Biscuit Café. Flying Biscuit Café is co-sponsoring the blood drive along with Shannon Waltchack, managers of Colonnade Retail Investors. The Flying Biscuit Café will be providing snacks and drinks for all donors. The restaurant will also provide meals to staff working at the drive and will donate a portion of their proceeds from the week to LifeSouth Community Blood Centers and the American Red Cross, which are not-for-profit agencies.

The Colonnade location is more appropriate than UAB Hospital to minimize the threat of exposure to patients and healthcare workers.

The schedule for the emergency blood drive from March 23-27 is:

Monday, March 23, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., LifeSouth

Tuesday, March 24, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., LifeSouth

Wednesday, March 25, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Red Cross

Thursday, March 26, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Red Cross

Friday, March 27, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Red Cross

Donors must go online to schedule an appointment to help ensure that other donors and staff are protected. Donors should make an appointment at www.redcrossblood.org or LifeSouth. Donors will need a photo ID.

“The Surgeon General of the United States, the CDC and FDA are all encouraging Americans to donate blood during this crisis,” said Dr. Marisa Marques, medical director of transfusion services at UAB. “The issue is simple: without an adequate blood supply, people will die.”

 

Permanent Red Cross blood donation centers

UAB Medical Center – North Pavilion,

1802 Sixth Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233

The American Red Cross has a number of ways to schedule and donate blood. (contributed)

Monday 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Tuesday 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Wednesday 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Thursday 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

Friday 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

 

Caldwell Trace Donation Center

700 Caldwell Trace, Birmingham, AL 35242

Sunday 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Monday Noon–8 p.m.

Tuesday Noon– 8 p.m.

Fixed and mobile sites are making it possible to donate blood during this critical shortage. (contributed)

Wednesday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Thursday Closed

Friday 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Saturday 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

 

Madison County Donation Center

1015 Airport Road SW, Huntsville, AL 35802

Sunday 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Monday Noon–8 p.m.

Tuesday Noon–8 p.m.

Wednesday 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Thursday Closed

Friday 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Saturday 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Montgomery Blood Donation Center

5015 Woods Crossing, Montgomery, AL 36106

Monday Noon–6 p.m.

Josephson (Mobile) Donation Center

The American Red Cross Blood Donor App makes it easy to schedule and donate blood. (contributed)

3446 Demetropolis Road, Mobile, AL 36693

Sunday 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m.

Monday Noon–7:30 p.m.

Tuesday Noon–7:30 p.m.

Wednesday Closed

Thursday 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m.

Friday 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m.

Saturday 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m.

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