American Red Cross Donations Dropping

LYNDON- With the current outbreak of the Coronavirus, there is an extreme drop in blood donations. Along with a shortage of blood supply in our hospitals. Lyndonville Vermont is going to be having two blood donations hosted by the American Red Cross through the months of April and May.

Tuesday, April 14ths blood drive shall be held at the Lyndonville's National Guard Armory, and Tuesday, April 28ths blood drive shall be held at Lyndons-Northern Vermont University. Tuesday, May 19ths blood drive shall be held at Lyndons Town school. All three events from 12pm to 5pm.

I have spoken with a young woman named Sarah, a phlebodomist, who works for the American Red Cross. Who prefered we don't publish her last name. She says that the blood supply was already low before the coronavirus pandemic had even begun. Now the shortage is even worse. "I know that blood drives are already being cancelled and I know that we were already at a shortage before this all even happened."

Every blood drive is different but each blood drive usually gets between 20 and 50 donations. "Now it's a hit or miss whether the drives are going to be busy. I was at a drive not too long ago that we only had 9 in total. But then I was at another one that we had almost 40."

Sarah tells us that since sponsors are cancelling drives, that workers don't really even get a schedule anymore, whereas workers used to get their schedules three weeks in advance. "It's turned into a day to day type of thing. We can get moved in literally less than 24 hours." Sarah says that she just got the notice that workers will be wearing masks as of Sunday, March 29th.

The blood donation process is really simple. Anyone can schedule an appointment to give blood by visiting, The Red Cross Blood Donor app, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Once you schedule your appointment with the American Red Cross and you go to donate, there are just a number of steps to follow once you arrive. Individuals must bring a blood donor card, or a form of ID with them in order to participate.

Donors must weigh over 110 pounds. Youth donors must be at least 16 to donate as long as you are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Otherwise, you must be 17 and older to donate. You will be called to a private station and asked a number of questions regarding your health. As well checking your blood pressure and your iron levels. After checking your temperature and pulse, you will be taken to another station where they will take your donation. Upon the completion of your donation there will be refreshments and snacks available. One bag of blood can save up to three lives.