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Arkansas Blood Institute needs donors to help rebuild the blood supply in response to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis and is urging healthy adults to take some time to save lives. To help with the supply, the City of Sherwood is hosting a blood drive on Wednesday, Jan. 13, from 3-7 p.m. at the Bill Harmon Recreation Center, located at 51 Shelby Road. Donors will receive a free 2021 long-sleeve t-shirt, as well as one free entry to the Museum of Discovery. All donations for donors 18 and older will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies to identify potential convalescent plasma donors. Appointments are encouraged and may be made by visiting http://bit.ly/Jan13SWBloodDrive or calling 501-835-6893.
Arkansas Blood Institute is following safety and cleanliness recommendations and guidelines set forth by the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks) to maintain the safest standards for blood collection, testing and transfusion. Its donor centers and mobile blood drives have instituted additional cleaning methods, decontaminating work and common areas and equipment frequently. Also, phlebotomy and donor services staff will wear masks and donor centers and mobile blood drives have been adapted to allow for social distancing. All staff and donors will also have their temperatures taken before starting work or entering the facility, to ensure only healthy individuals are present.
In a recent media release, the Arkansas Blood Institute stated: Arkansas Blood Institute (ABI) has an immediate need for convalescent plasma from donors who have recovered from COVID-19 to treat seriously ill patients. The need for convalescent plasma in our area has increased over 700 [percent] in the recent weeks, with demand now regularly greater than collections. Available supplies have reached critical levels, and patients will face delays in this lifesaving care if donors cannot be recruited in higher numbers. A single plasma donation with Arkansas Blood Institute can provide plasma to up to four COVID-19 patients, in a process that takes about an hour and a half.
Blood donation takes just about an hour, and each donation can save the lives of up to three patients. Whole blood can be donated every 56 days. Platelet donations can be made as often as every seven days, up to 24 times a year. Donors 16 and younger must weight at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17-year-olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18 year-olds and older must weigh at least 110 pounds. For other eligibility requirements, visit arkbi.org.
Visit http://bit.ly/Jan13SWBloodDrive to schedule an appointment. For more information, call site organizer Julie Greene at 501-835-6893.