Blood Donations are Safe and Vital to Respond to COVID-19

While walk-in donors are traditionally welcomed and accepted as time permits,
we have temporarily adopted an Appointment-Only policy.
This policy is in response to our current staffing challenges, and allows us to focus
on each of our donors, providing them with the attention they require and deserve.
Please plan to arrive at least 5 minutes prior to your appointment time, and if you are unable
to keep your appointment time or are running late, please contact us to reschedule.
Thank you for your patience and understanding!
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The wearing of masks for our staff and donors is optional,
and we thank you for respecting the decision of those around you.

Disclaimer:  Per CDC regulations, the wearing of masks will remain optional with the exception of any county
that is deemed as a high transmission area per the CDC website.

TO SCHEDULE YOUR LIFESAVING BLOOD DONATION CLICK HERE
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MKBC DOES NOT TEST for Coronavirus or COVID-19 Antibodies.  Unfortunately, there is some misleading information being circulated online that by donating blood, you can be tested for Coronavirus. Blood Centers cannot test for COVID-19 – contact your local healthcare provider to administer the appropriate test.  While testing for the coronavirus antibodies is now  available throughout the region, Miller-Keystone Blood Center does not conduct the testing on-site. Testing for Covid-19 and/or the antibodies must be done by one’s healthcare provider, or by a laboratory that the healthcare provider recommends.

There is an URGENT NEED FOR BLOOD DONATIONS at this time.  Approximately 450 blood donations are needed every day to meet the transfusion needs of our regional hospitals, and it is critical that individuals in the community donate blood in order to meet these needs. There are patients who desperately need blood routinely for their recovery for cancer, as well as trauma victims, premature infants, surgical patients and more. Due to “stay at home” restrictions and “social distancing” recommendations, very few bloodmobile drives will be held in the foreseeable future. The need for blood never ends, but the supply certainly can if it’s not available. Blood is perishable and there is NO substitute – the only source is the volunteer blood donor.

MKBC is operating on an appointment-only basis at this time.  While walk-in donors are traditionally welcomed and accepted as time permits, we have temporarily adopted an Appointment-Only policy. This policy is in response to our current staffing challenges, and allows us to focus on each of our donors, providing them with the attention they require and deserve. Individuals registering to donate must provide valid identification, such as a driver’s license or your MKBC Donor ID. Please plan to arrive at least 5 minutes prior to your appointment time, and if you are unable to keep your appointment time or are running late, please contact us to reschedule. Thank you for your patience and understanding at this time!

Going to a blood center or blood drive is safe.  All Blood Center equipment is decontaminated between uses, and everything that touches blood is sterile and disposable (including blood bags, needles and test tubes). All donor chairs, signature pads, tables and tablets are sanitized/disinfected between use, Blood Center staff are wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) according to regulatory requirements (including gloves and masks/face shields).  Although we wish the opposite were true, our collection sites are rarely crowded and not considered “mass gatherings.”  The wearing of masks is optional for our staff and donors, and we thank you for respecting the decision of those around you (disclaimer: per CDC regulations, the wearing of masks will remain optional with the exception of any county that is deemed as a high transmission area per the CDC website).  Additionally, we expect only healthy people to come and give blood. The risk of exposure at a donor center is exceedingly low.

For additional information on MKBC’s Safety Measures, click here.

Please help to save lives by giving blood through this difficult time.

If you have a specific question related to Blood Donation & COVID-19, email us here!


A Message from Ashley Russo, ASR Media Productions

 

BACKGROUND: In December 2019, a novel Corona virus was identified in Hubei Province, China. This is a respiratory virus is related to those causing the “common cold”.  It is believed to evolve from an animal specific corona virus (bat), the genetic change making it possible for this virus to infect people.

Symptoms of the infection are not specific and may be found in persons with a variety of infections including influenza, and many other viral illnesses. The symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  It is important to understand that a person with these symptoms does not confirm infection with COVID-19.  Only a medical evaluation can decide what the cause is. Like other Corona viruses, COVID-19 is believed transmitted by large saliva droplets rather than aerosols so it is important to observe proper cough and sneeze hygiene.  Frequent hand washing and keeping hands away from the face can help prevent transmission of all respiratory viruses.

Most Corona viruses are not transmitted through transfusion. This was the experience with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona virus (SARS CoV) and Mideast Respiratory Syndrome (MERS CoV). However because COVID-19 is a new virus, the blood center is taking the following precautionary steps to prevent others from becoming infected:

  • Donors who do not feel well should reschedule their appointment.
  • Donors who have traveled to areas of major outbreaks such as mainland China, Korea, Italy, and Iran should postpone blood donation for 28 days from departure.
  • Donors who have been exposed to a person having a diagnosis of COVID-19 infection should postpone donation for 28 days. Examples of exposure include but are not limited to person-to-person contact, quarantine, or on an infected cruise.
  • Donors who have recovered from COVID-19 should postpone their donation for 28 days from the end of symptoms.

Donors meeting the above criteria should call 1-800-223-6667 to reschedule their appointment.