A very important message from our friends at Miller-Keystone Blood Center

Miller-Keystone Blood Center

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

Thursday, March 19, 2020

At this time, the nation has a two-day supply of blood available. Blood centers across the nation have seen the cancellation of more than 12,000 blood drives, resulting in the loss of approximately 355,000 lifesaving blood donations. Regionally, Miller-Keystone Blood Center has had more than 65 blood drive cancellations, resulting in the loss of nearly 1,800 blood donations (as of 3/17/2020).

Please remember:

·Going to a blood center or blood drive 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/disinfected between use, Blood Center staff are wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) according to regulatory requirements (including gloves and face shields), and all volunteers wear gloves in the canteen area. Additional info on our safety measures can be found at http://ow.ly/RgmB50yQ7TB

·Blood drives are not mass gatherings. Our blood drives and donor centers are rarely crowded, and we expect only people feeling well to come and give blood. We encourage all donors to complete their medical screening online, prior to arriving for their blood donation. Additionally, where possible we try to honor the 6-foot distancing guideline between donor beds and in registration lines, as well as control the donor flow in coaches, so they are not crowded.

·Blood Centers DO NOT test for Coronavirus. Unfortunately, there is some misleading information being circulated online that by donating blood, you can be tested for Coronavirus. Blood Centers cannot test for COVID-19 - contact your local healthcare provider to administer the appropriate nasal swab test.

·There are patients who desperately need blood routinely for their recovery for cancer, as well as trauma victims, premature infants, surgical patients and more. The need for blood never ends, but the supply certainly can if it’s not available. Blood is perishable and there is NO substitute – the only source is the volunteer blood donor. Platelets have a 5-day shelf life and are very difficult to keep available. Red blood cells have a 42-day shelf life but are quickly used up especially if there is no one available to replenish the supply.

·As of Monday March 23, Miller-Keystone Blood Center will be extending the hours at our donor center locations in response to the loss of dozens of blood drives in our community. Eligible donors are encouraged to visit one of these locations to donate blood at this time. 

§Allentown: 1255 S. Cedar Crest Blvd, Suite 1300

§Bethlehem: 1495 Valley Center Parkway

§Easton: 2925 William Penn Highway, Suite 105

§Pittston: 400 Route 315, Suite E

§Reading: 2745A Leiscz’s Bridge Road, Reading, PA 19605

§Trenton (Ewing): 400 Main Boulevard East, Suite 601

Additional information can be found at:https://www.giveapint.org/covid19/

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