Note to Blood Drive Chair People
To Our Dedicated Chair People,
These unprecedented times call for extraordinary measures from all of us. Over the past several weeks, our organization has taken significant steps to ensure the safety and adequacy of the blood supply as well as the health of our donors, team members, and volunteers during the COVID-19 outbreak. I have never been more proud to lead this organization than I have been in the last several weeks as we have all come together to protect our community’s blood supply, to protect the health of our blood donors, and to protect our team members and volunteers.
You are an amazing and valuable resource to us. Your commitment to our mission is the backbone of a strong, volunteer-based blood donor program. With more than 70% of our normal blood collection efforts geared to mobile collections, the work you do on our behalf is the core of our blood supply. As the pandemic forces us to revise our blood collection efforts, your understanding, flexibility, and support is needed now more than ever.
How is our community blood supply?
We have seen significant showing of donor support over the past few weeks which is keeping our blood supply stable. As the pandemic presses on, we must continue to seek blood donations for the coming days, weeks, and months to ensure that our blood supply remains steady. We are requiring all blood donors to schedule appointments and are not accepting walk-in donations. We are asking our blood donors to pre-screen their temperatures before coming to our blood drive locations to ensure their health and acceptability as a blood donor and to protect our team members. We know that these added requests may impact the turnout of blood donors which is why our recruitment efforts must remain strong and consistent.
How is LifeServe handling blood drives during the pandemic?
As you may already know, thousands of mobile blood drives across our region and the country have been cancelled resulting in the collection loss of hundreds of thousands of units. Specifically in our community, we are canceling all mobile blood drives where we cannot ensure proper social distancing guidelines. This means that all bloodmobile bus blood drives have been cancelled through the month of April (and possibly longer based on the length of the pandemic). Some blood centers across the country in warmer climates are able to continue collections with their bloodmobile buses by moving donor screening outside of the bus. Unfortunately, Midwest weather conditions do not provide us that benefit. Because we lack that extra flexibility, we are only holding inside set-up mobile drives that provide enhanced social distancing options.
How can our blood drive chair people help us?
To ensure a steady, stable blood supply in the face of this pandemic, we ask for your flexibility. Each day we are balancing our hospitals needs to our planned blood collection activities while also trying to forecast the health of our donor base to ensure a long-term consistent blood supply. With this changing environment, we may ask you to reschedule a blood drive or to help us secure an inside location for an upcoming blood drive. We may call upon your help with organizing blood drives at times that you don’t normally help.
We know that we ask a lot of you. Our mission is to save lives and we do that hand-in-hand with you. I hope you feel that appreciation and thanks every time a patient’s life has been saved or impacted by the volunteer blood donor program.