FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas and the American Red Cross are teaming up for the ‘Bleed Razorback Red’ blood drive.
It will be hosted at the Walton Arts Center for the first time rather than on-campus grounds and everyone, donors and staff will be wearing masks. Joe Zydlo with the American Red Cross said it is following the guidance set by the CDC. They will be wiping down stations after every use and disinfecting high touch-point areas throughout the day.
Stations will also be spaced out for social distancing purposes. Staff and donors must go through a health screening and have their temperature checked before entering. Zydlo said anyone with a reading over 99.5 will be turned away.
“We have been following all of the safety precautions since March. You can feel good about coming and donating blood. You can feel safe. We want to make sure that all of our donors, staff and volunteers all feel comfortable when they donate, that’s what we want,” said Zydlo.
The American Red Cross streamlined its process so that all donations are tested for COVID-19 antibodies and people who had the virus can donate their plasma all in one sitting.
Tuesday and Wednesday whole blood will be collected which is the most flexible type of donation. It has three components red cells, plasma and platelets.
Zydlo said it can be transfused as whole blood or the components can be used to essentially treat more people.
“If you do have COVID-19 antibodies, you get those results back…it’s in your plasma, we can now pull the plasma from your blood donation and get it to a hospital where it can be transfused to a patient. so, you don’t have to come in and make another appointment — which was what the old process was.”
If you had COVID-19, you must test negative twice and be fully recovered before making a donation.
During the blood drive there will also be some live and local entertainment and donors will walk away with Whataburger coupons and a t-shirt that reads bleed red. Zydlo said it’s one way to thank donors for their life-saving donations especially during these challenging times.
Now if you want to take part in this, you are encouraged to make appointments to give blood.
18th annual American Red Cross Blood Drive, Oct 6 – 7; 10am – 6pm. Call 1-800-Red-cross or visit redcrossblood.org for appointments, event sponsor code – ‘razorbacks’
The goal for this event is 200 donations, all blood types are needed.