SAN ANTONIO – Extra measures to ensure the safety of donors during and after their visit to blood drives are being implemented. The South Texas Blood and Tissue Centers says donors with blood types O-negative and O-positive are urgently needed to help supply hospitals.
In order to increase the number of donors and with the help of community partners, they’re hosting several blood drives throughout San Antonio.
All donors are asked to wear a face covering and will be greeted with a series of questions to ensure they haven’t experienced any symptoms related to COVID-19.
On Sunday morning, pre-registered donors began to line up outside of MacArthur Park Church of Christ’s fellowship hall. Donor Gretchen Young was one of the first to be screened.
“I was asked how I feel when I came in,” Young said. “Everything’s been sanitized in front of me so, I feel like it’s very safe and probably more secure than prior to COVID-19.”
According to Roger Ruiz, corporate communications specialist with the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, sanitizing the equipment between each appointment is essential for the staff as a total of 120 people registered for Sunday’s blood drive.
“These community drives are set up for a reason in these rooms,” Ruiz said. “We make sure that we can maintain social distancing and that you have a safe donation process when you come through here.”
While the vast majority of people are worried about COVID-19, Ruiz hopes that people think about the hospitals that need blood and are relying on pre-registered donors to show up to their appointments.
“We need a 100% (of donors) to show up, because that's all that we're collecting in the community right now,” Ruiz said. “Patients need our help. There's always accidents (and) different kinds of treatments that are going on (that require blood).”
It’s a need Young knows all too well.
“My son, he's 14 (years old and) was in the NICU when he was born,” Young said. “Since then, I've regularly donated blood. So, I guess COVID-19 really isn't scaring me away.”
The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center serves 48 counties and hundreds of hospitals and clinics throughout those areas. They plan to host more blood drives.
Businesses and organizations with large open rooms interested in hosting a blood drive are encouraged to call the center at 210-731-5590.
To schedule an appointment to donate blood through the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, click here.
Visit its website here to learn more about the different types of donations available.