Miller-Keystone Blood Center
Regionally, Miller-Keystone Blood Center has had over 100 blood drive cancellations, resulting in the loss of more than 2,400 blood donations as of March 25, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Miller-Keystone officials recently released the following in response to the fluid situation evolving from the pandemic:
• Miller-Keystone Blood Center has expanded hours at donor center locations to accommodate the ongoing transfusion needs of regional hospitals. Hours at the Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and Reading donor centers have been expanded to provide more convenient opportunities for individuals to donate.
• Visiting a blood donation center is safe. All blood center equipment is decontaminated between uses and everything that touches blood is sterile and disposable, including blood bags, needles and test tubes. All signature pads, tables and tablets are sanitized and disinfected between uses and staff are wearing personal protective equipment, according to regulatory requirements, including gloves and face shields. Additional information on blood center safety measures can be found at http://ow.ly/RgmB50yQ7TB.
• Blood drives are not mass gatherings. Donor centers are rarely crowded and only people feeling well to come and give blood are expected to give blood. All donors are encouraged to complete medical screening online, prior to arriving for their blood donation. Additionally, staff are honoring “social distancing” guidelines in registration areas as well as in donor rooms so facilities are not crowded.
• There is no blood shortage at this time. Due to the swift and generous response, the region’s blood supply is stable at this time. However, there are patients who need blood routinely for their recovery for cancer, as well as trauma victims, premature infants, surgical patients and more. Due to “stay-at-home” restrictions and “social-distancing” recommendations, few bloodmobile drives will be held in the foreseeable future. The need for blood never ends. Blood is perishable and there is no substitute – the only source is blood from volunteer donors.
• Donors who do not have appointments are encouraged to schedule a donation in the next one, two or three weeks, as donations will still be critically needed to provide for the transfusion needs of regional hospitals. While walk-in donors are always welcome and accepted as time permits, the current “social-distancing” environment is leading to longer-than-normal wait times for those without appointments.
• Donors are encouraged to share their experience on social media. Donors are encouraged to snap a photo when visiting a Miller-Keystone Blood Center location, and to tag MKBC and share using the hashtag #MKBCdonate.
The donor receiving the most likes/shares/comments on their social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) each week will receive 200 bonus points to redeem in MKBC’s store for a variety of items, including T-shirts, hats, duffle bags, coffee mugs or gift cards.