Every day in hospitals across the country, millions of patients depend on lifesaving blood donations to survive and thrive. But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of blood drives were cancelled due to school and business closures, causing a significant drop in blood donations. With elective surgeries resuming in Arizona hospitals, blood needs are on the rise.
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Your donation of blood helps kids like 4-year-old Adelyn, who just had her 66th blood transfusion. (Photo: Business Wire)
Healthy, eligible donors are invited to the Desert Financial Arena Community Blood Drive Sunday, May 31, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Desert Financial Arena on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe.
Participants are encouraged to arrive 15 minutes early. Visit here for details, maps and registration. The first 350 donors will receive an ASU/Desert Financial T-shirt in appreciation for giving blood at this crucial time.
Vitalant, Arizona’s largest nonprofit community blood provider has partnered to host the blood drive. While there is no inherent risk of contracting coronavirus while donating blood, Vitalant is following current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Extra precautions will be implemented with regard to social distancing, health screening and sanitation to protect staff and donors.
Donors are encouraged to arrive early. They will be invited to wait in their cars or other comfortable and convenient locations, and alerted just prior to their appointments via text. Masks will be required during donations and provided by Desert Financial. Additional precautions taken during the blood drive include the following, and FAQs can be found here.
- Temperatures taken at registration; those higher than 99.5 are not eligible to donate
- Waiting areas will accommodate social distancing measures of 6 feet apart
- Pre-packaged, single use servings of snacks/beverages available
- Donors are required to wear masks; Desert Financial will supply for one-time use
- Masks and gloves will be worn by Vitalant staff
- Donor-touched areas will be sanitized frequently and after every collection
- Donations will be taken using sterile, one-time use collection sets
- Donors’ arms will be swabbed with an antiseptic for 30 seconds
- Children and other visitors are discouraged from accompanying donors
“Over the past few months, we’ve been reminded just how much we need each other. We’ve been encouraged by the many stories of generosity and acts of kindness across our community, and we encourage those in good health to step up in a big way. It’s safe, it’s easy, and nothing feels better than giving back,” said Jeff Meshey, President and CEO at Desert Financial.
Blood donors help Arizona kids like 4-year-old Adelyn who received her 66th blood transfusion on May 6. She was born with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a rare disorder that prevents her body from producing red blood cells. Every three to four weeks, she relies on the generosity of blood donors to keep her alive – a need that is expected to continue the rest of her life. “Adelyn has taught us the importance of donating blood,” says her mother Kami. “We are forever thankful to each and every blood donor.”
“ASU wants to open its doors for this important life-saving opportunity,” says Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, ASU Vice President for Cultural Affairs. “Connecting the community during a blood a drive is a way for people to give in a powerful way and impact us all.”
About Desert Financial Credit Union
Celebrating 81 years in Arizona, Desert Financial is the state’s largest local credit union with $5 billion in assets, more than 330,000 members and 47 locations across the Valley. As a not-for-profit cooperative, Desert Financial takes pride in sharing success. In 2019, Desert Financial gave nearly $11M to Valley nonprofits, the community and members. Learn more at desertfinancial.com.
Vitalant ("Vye-TAL-ent") is a national community blood service provider, supplying comprehensive transfusion medicine services for nearly 1,000 hospitals and health care partners for patients in need across 40 states. Vitalant inspires local communities to serve the needs of others and transform lives through the selfless act of donating blood. Every day, almost 5,000 blood donations are needed to meet the needs of people throughout the country, and Vitalant's 800,000 donors supply 1.8 million donations a year. In addition to blood products, Vitalant offers customers transfusion services, medical consulting, quality guidance, ongoing education, research and more. For more information and to schedule a donation, visit vitalant.org or call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825). Join the conversation about impacting the lives of others on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To learn more about Vitalant's COVID-19 efforts, visit vitalant.org/COVIDfree