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Blood drive Tuesday

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SALYERSVILLE – In a time when a lot is uncertain, one thing remains a constant: the need for blood donation is still as critical as it has ever been.

While the Kentucky Blood Center’s blood supply is currently in good standing, Mandy Brajuha, director of marketing for KBC, told the Independent earlier this year they have had to cancel 128 blood drives in the wake of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing. From those 128 drives they were expecting to get 3,800 units of blood to serve the over 70 Kentucky hospitals.

“COVID-19 may not cause the need for blood, but car accidents, cancer and transplants still happen,” Brajuha said. 

In light of the global pandemic, KBC has had to cancel most of their mobile blood drives, which generally provides 70% of their blood supply, but limits the number of people who can donate while maintaining proper social distancing , pushing them to rely on their donor centers and locations offered by area churches to set up larger blood drives.

On Tuesday, July 28, they will be set up at the Lloyd M. Hall Community Center, in downtown Salyersville, from 1 to 5 p.m. Donor must schedule a donation appointment in advance by either going to kybloodcenter.org or calling 800-775-2522.

Amy LeVan, donor recruitment specialist support for KBC, said the additional spacing will allow them to accommodate more donors while keeping everyone safe.

“This is a difficult time, but we still have an obligation to help the hospitals,” LeVan said. There are still accidents, transplants, and babies born prematurely, which is why it’s so important. This is why people that are healthy need to donate.”

Brajuha told the Independent their mobile unit usually gets between 10 and 15 units per blood drive, but she hopes more people will step up and donate during this difficult time.

“I know a lot more people can roll up their sleeves down there,” Brajuha said. “This is a tangible thing you can do to help at a time when you don’t think there’s anything you can do. This is an irreplaceable gift you’re giving to these families.”

Since the current situation is more than likely going to be more than just a couple weeks long, Brajuha said they are looking at ways to sustain the blood supply throughout the global crisis.

“If donors continue to come out to our centers and these local drives, we can maintain a decent supply,” Brajuha said.

Blood donation continues to be important and safe for donors and KBC encourages all healthy individuals to donate when they can and as often as they are eligible. They will be maintaining proper social distancing, frequently sanitizing surfaces and offering prepackaged snacks at their drives. Hand sanitizer will be available at every blood donation site and the donor beds will be disinfected between every donation. 

They do encourage blood donors to complete their healthy history questionnaire online before coming to the donor center by using QuickPass at kybloodcenter.org (on the day of donation) to reduce the donor’s time in the center and allow them to use their own personal devise for the task. Blood donation appointments are very important to help them manage the number of people at the donation sites. 

Brajuha said they are looking at increasing their local presence in the communities. All future blood drives will be reported in the Independent and on our website, www.salyersvilleindependent.com.

KBC has two donor centers in Lexington, two in Louisville and locations in Pikeville and Somerset.

The May blood drive held in Salyersville yielded 31 pints of blood, which was a record for Magoffin County.
 

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