Hospitals across north, central and east Texas are in daily contact with Carter BloodCare to verify that there is enough blood to perform all the surgeries and medical procedures on their schedules. Hospital patients are in jeopardy of not receiving the blood transfusions they need.
Blood that is donated by generous volunteers is released to hospitals as soon as possible after test results are completed. In more typical circumstances, there would be two to three days’ worth of blood available. COVID-19 had a swift and profound effect on the community blood supply when sheltering in place took affect; and blood drives at businesses, schools and other locations were cancelled.
Against this background, Carter BloodCare is offering coronavirus antibody testing on successful blood donations, for a limited time. Donors can retrieve their results within one to two weeks through a personal account they establish on the blood center’s web site. In addition to cholesterol level, temperature, hemoglobin, pulse rate and blood pressure data, donors can now learn whether they were likely exposed to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Dairy Queen in Cooper, TX is helping boost the local blood supply by hosting a drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, August 7, at 2151 FM 64 W. in the parking lot on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information, or to schedule an appointment time, contact Kelly Magnuson at (903) 395-2151.
In the era of COVID-19, Carter BloodCare knows safety is top of mind for blood donors. Carter BloodCare is performing extra cleaning and staff is wearing masks and gloves. Here are some ways donors can do their part to help. To reduce wait times, donors can fill out the medical history questionnaire online before they show up to give blood. This means fewer people are waiting, making it easier to “social distance”. Carter BloodCare is limiting the number of donors on each bus, so making an appointment is the best way to reduce lines of donors.
Remember to eat a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water at least an hour before giving blood. All donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, feel well on the day of donation, and present a government- issued photo ID each time they give blood.
Potential blood donors may volunteer beginning at age 16 with parental consent; 17-year-olds may give independently and there is no upper age limit for donating blood. For more information on donor eligibility and to make an appointment, call 1-800-366-2834 or visit carterbloodcare.org.
For information on donor eligibility and appointments, call or text 800-366-2834 or visit carterbloodcare.org. For more information on antibody testing for COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control web site.