A pandemic doesn’t stop the need for blood, Red Cross says

Blood drive

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Red Cross says blood is still in urgent need.

People from around the north county volunteered Thursday to help donate at Watertown’s Salmon Run Mall.

Amy Baker says she has been giving blood since she was 18 years old.

“Partially out of fear of needles, so I kind of tried to overcome that fear and I have been giving it ever since then,” she said.

As of June 15, all donations are now being tested for COVID-19 antibodies, but donors have a new opportunity to help patients who are directly battling COVID-19.

Until recently, blood plasma with positive COVID-19 antibodies could only be obtained at a handful of Red Cross centers across the country.

As of September 21, the Red Cross can now take COVID-positive plasma from donors and use it to help coronavirus patients who may need blood transfusions this fall.

That’s something Baker says shows the importance of donating during the pandemic

“From my understanding, one pint of blood can help at least three people if not more,” she said, “This is something that I can do to help others at some point.”

The Red Cross encourages anyone who is looking to donate blood to schedule an appointment or visit redcrossblood.org for more information.

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