Community Blood Bank, a joint cooperative of Sanford USD Medical Center and Avera McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD is diligently working to maintain an adequate blood supply for the 36 local hospitals it services. As a strong cold and flu season has prevented many from giving blood and the potential threat of the COVID – 19 is keeping some residents closer to home, the need for blood donations is more vital than ever before.
According to the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), “Blood centers across the country are experiencing a decrease in donation appointments and cancellation of blood drives due to travel restrictions and social distancing efforts. There is a potential to adversely impact the availability of blood as more blood drives may be cancelled, fewer healthy donors will be available to sustain the blood supply. While we cannot predict blood supply needs during a pandemic, we know that a sufficient supply of blood must remain available to treat patients.”
Ken Versteeg, Executive Director, Community Blood Bank, states, “The need for blood donations, to keep up with demands, is extremely important with the many challenges that are preventing donors to give blood. While we are able to treat patients with their blood needs, each day is more difficult to avoid shortages as collection continues to decrease in the local area.” Versteeg says, “The cold and flu season has prevented many people from coming out to give blood and decreased the overall donations for the local area. Please join us to provide hope to those in need and support the local supply. We want to reassure the public that donating blood is a safe way to impact community lives. We have taken a series of precautionary steps in response to the developing health concerns, including increasing cleaning and sanitizing procedures in our facilities.”
Community Blood Bank is the sole blood provider to 36 local hospitals including Avera McKennan Hospital, Sanford Medical Center, Sanford Children’s Hospital, Avera Heart Hospital, Sanford Heart Hospital, Sioux Falls V.A. Medical Center and the Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital.
Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with a signed parent consent form found at www.cbblifeblood.org) weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good general health. If you are exhibiting cold or flu symptoms, such as a cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat or traveled outside of the country, had close contact with someone who might have COVID – 19 or traveled on a cruise ship, you are unable to donate at this time.
Please bring a valid identification at the time of registration. It is recommended that a person eat and drink plenty of fluid prior to donating blood. Walk-ins are always welcomed and encouraged. For additional information, a complete listing of blood drive locations and donor room hours log onto www.cbblifeblood.org or call 877-877-3070.