These precautions are being taken because of the pandemic.
Someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds. Think: surgeries, car accidents, serious injuries, chronic illness and cancer treatments. And because blood donations dropped to record-low levels during the pandemic, the need for blood is more urgent than ever.
To help, Dr. Oz is leading the #JustMyType Challenge to get as many people as possible to a blood drive and make a life-saving donation.
However, one of the reasons blood donations dropped during the pandemic is because public gatherings were canceled for much of 2020 and 2021. And when they opened back up, many people wondered if it was safe or healthy to have the procedure done.
Well, blood centers want you to know: It's safe! You can and should donate blood if you are able, they say. Here are some of the precautions being taken to keep you, staff, and blood donation recipients healthy.
Click the links below to find blood drives in your area through America's Blood Centers and the Red Cross.
Blood centers require staff to complete health assessments before each blood drive.
Staff will take your temperature and ask you some questions to make sure you are healthy and feeling well the day of your donation. However, even if you feel healthy, blood centers recommend people postpone their donation appointment if they are diagnosed with COVID-19, receive a positive test or have had COVID symptoms..
When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, you are able to donate blood if you received the shot from AstraZeneca, Janssen/J&J, Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer — and you are able to tell staff which one you received. If you do not know, or you received a live attenuated COVID-19 vaccine, you must wait two weeks from your vaccination.
This all is in addition to the typical eligibility requirements for donating blood.
- Staff wears gloves and changes them often.
- Sterile collection sets are used for each donor.
- The donor's arm is prepared with antiseptic.
- Hand sanitizer is offered throughout the donor's appointment.
- Social distancing is practiced, including between donor beds and in the waiting and refreshment areas.
- Face masks are required for all donors and staff.
Cleaning & Disinfecting
- Surfaces that donors touch are wiped down after every collection.
- Surfaces and equipment are disinfected frequently.
- Blankets used during donations (platelet, plasma and red cell) are washed after each use. Donors are encouraged to bring their own as well.
You know how important — and rewarding — it is to give blood. At this point in the pandemic, know that you can make your donation safely, with everyone's health in mind. Join Dr. Oz and help end this critical blood shortage.