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Thank you for donating blood at NEWS CENTER Maine's 2021 Red Cross Blood Drive!

Every two seconds, someone needs blood in the United States. Thank you, Mainers, for your life-saving donations!

MAINE, USA — FINAL UPDATE: In total, this year's NEWS CENTER Maine Red Cross Blood Drive collected 232 units of blood that will save up to 696 lives. Thank you, Mainers, for your generous donations!

March is Red Cross Month.

During emergencies—"Help Can’t Wait."

That's why NEWS CENTER Maine is joining forces with the American Red Cross to help our fellow Mainers in need. We are asking our viewers to help their neighbors by donating blood on Wednesday, March 24.

As a national network, the Red Cross has a unique responsibility to meet the demand for blood wherever and whenever it is needed.

With the simple act of donating blood or platelets, eligible donors can help save up to three lives with one donation.

The need for blood is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

Make a difference. Join us on Wednesday, March 24 for the blood drive.

HOW TO REGISTER:

Go to RedCrossBlood.org

  • Click on DONATE BLOOD then FIND A BLOOD DRIVE
  • Enter CODE: NEWSMAINE
  • Choose your donation site and time

PLEASE NOTE: Walk-ins are welcomed, but it can’t be guaranteed the staff will be able to take them. If a drive is fully appointed, and the registered donors are showing up, then the drives most likely won’t be able to take walk-in donors. 

However, if a location has several no-shows and a walk-in donor comes when there is a lull at the drive, then the staff should be able to take that donor. It’s up to the charge nurse on the day of the drive.

RELATED: Donating blood for the first time during a pandemic

Is it safe to attend a blood drive during the pandemic? 
Blood donation is an "essential service" and "critical infrastructure" function as determined by the United States Department of Homeland Security and many other federal, state, and local authorities. Like a hospital, grocery store, or pharmacy, a blood drive is essential to ensuring the health of the community, and the Red Cross will continue to hold blood drives during the pandemic to help meet patient needs. 

What safety precautions are in place at Red Cross blood drives to protect staff and donors amid the pandemic?  
The Red Cross asks potential donors who may have any risk factors to postpone and donate at a later time. The Red Cross only collects blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation.

RELATED: 'It brought me back to life': Portland couple encourages all who can to donate blood

At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees already follow thorough safety protocols to help prevent the spread of any type of infection, including:

  • Wearing gloves and changing gloves often
  • Routinely disinfecting donor-touched areas
  • Using sterile collection sets for every donation, and
  • Preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub

During this pandemic, Red Cross has also implemented additional precautions to ensure the safety of their employees, volunteers, and donors, including:

  • Checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy
  • Providing hand sanitizer for use before entering the drive, as well as throughout the donation process
  • Following social distancing practices between donors including donor beds, as well as waiting and refreshment areas
  • Wearing face masks or coverings for both staff and donors
  • Increasing enhanced disinfecting of surfaces and equipment
  • Emphasizing the importance of appointments to help manage the flow of donors at drives

RELATED: 'My story would have been very different': Bangor City Councilwoman encourages Mainers to donate blood

The Red Cross uses local blood donations to first meet the need of area hospitals, but can also provide blood throughout the country.

The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O.

The NEWS CENTER Maine Red Cross Blood Drive will have six donation locations across Maine on March 24.

Credit: ncm

RELATED: ‘It’s incredible’: American Red Cross volunteer reflects on decade of service, importance of blood drives