COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)- The RiverCenter hosted a blood drive this Wednesday in partnership with the American Red Cross.
January is national blood donor month, and blood bank resources are typically most depleted following the holiday season.
The drive was held on the RiverCenter performance stage and donors were able to schedule appointments in advance to ensure social distancing.
“We found that we were a great place to do this because we can safely social distance and accommodate a lot of people coming into the theater,” Norman Eastbrook, Executive Director of the RiverCenter, said. “You can be on the RiverCenter stage while you do something really terrific, which is to give blood.”
According to the Red Cross, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.
With a shelf life of 42 days for whole blood and just 5 days for platelets, donations throughout the year are essential. Blood and blood products are essential for surgeries and treatment of traumatic injuries, cancer, and chronic illnesses such as sickle cell disease.
For anyone that has recovered from COVID-19, the Red Cross’ most critical need is blood donations from people who have recovered from the virus.
“The beauty of the blood drive at the RiverCenter today is that all Red Cross blood products are being tested for antibodies to coronavirus,” Sherry Nicholson, Communications Director of the Georgia Red Cross, said.
“Whether you know you’ve had the disease and are fully recovered, or you suspect you may have been exposed at some point, we’ll find out if there are antibodies in your blood through testing. That can be used to help people who are fighting for their lives right now,” Nicholson said.
The RiverCenter hopes people will consider giving and will register to participate in their next drive, happening in March.