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Salyersville Independent

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BLOOD DRIVE TUESDAY

Come roll up a sleeve on March 30!

SALYERSVILLE – A blood drive is slated for later this month, with the Kentucky Blood Center noting that all donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies and all donors will be entered to win one of two $25 Walmart gift cards.

On Tuesday, March 30, they will be set up in the fellowship hall of the Salyersville First Baptist Church, located on Dixie Avenue across from Ramey Memorial Park, from 1 to 5 p.m.

Donors must schedule donation appointments in advance by either going to kybloodcenter.org or calling 800-775-2522.

Kentucky Blood Center is also offering free COVID-19 antibody testing to all donors. Donors who test positive for the antibodies may be recruited to donate convalescent plasma to help critically ill patients fight the coronavirus.

“We continue to see the demand for blood from our hospital partners increase,” Bill Reed, Kentucky Blood Center President and CEO, said. “January was the highest blood usage ever in our 52-year history and the need hasn’t slowed. COVID continues to hinder our ability to collect blood through mobile events and the impact is being felt.”

KBC has an urgent need for all blood types and is encouraging donors to make an appointment and donate as soon as possible. The Blood Center strives to maintain a 3-4 day supply of blood to meet hospital needs. Currently, the blood center has less than a half-day supply.

Mandy Brajuha, director of marketing for KBC, told the Independent, “COVID-19 may not cause the need for blood, but car accidents, cancer and transplants still happen.”

Amy LeVan, donor recruitment specialist support for KBC, said the additional spacing will allow them to accommodate more donors while keeping everyone safe.

“This is a difficult time, but we still have an obligation to help the hospitals,” LeVan said. There are still accidents, transplants, and babies born prematurely, which is why it’s so important. This is why people that are healthy need to donate.”

Brajuha told the Independent their mobile unit usually gets between 10 and 15 units per blood drive, but she hopes more people will step up and donate during this difficult time.

“I know a lot more people can roll up their sleeves down there,” Brajuha said. “This is a tangible thing you can do to help at a time when you don’t think there’s anything you can do. This is an irreplaceable gift you’re giving to these families.”

Donors will be given a free T-shirt (while supplies last) and be entered to win one of two $25 Walmart gift cards.

Blood donation continues to be important and safe for donors and KBC encourages all healthy individuals to donate when they can and as often as they are eligible. They will be maintaining proper social distancing, frequently sanitizing surfaces and offering prepackaged snacks at their drives. Hand sanitizer will be available at every blood donation site and the donor beds will be disinfected between every donation.

Face coverings will be required at the event and appointments are preferred.

They do encourage blood donors to complete their healthy history questionnaire online before coming to the donor center by using QuickPass at kybloodcenter.org (on the day of donation) to reduce the donor’s time in the center and allow them to use their own personal device for the task. Blood donation appointments are very important to help them manage the number of people at the donation sites.

Blood donors must be 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, show a photo I.D. and meet additional requirements. Sixteen-year-old donors must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at kybloodcenter.org.

To schedule a donation, visit kybloodcenter.org or call 800.775.2522. A direct link to the blood drive schedule (where people can schedule an appointment to donate on March 30) can be found at: https://my.kybloodcenter.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/75886.

Brajuha said they are looking at increasing their local presence in the communities. All future blood drives will be reported in the Independent and on our website, www.salyersvilleindependent.com.

KBC has two donor centers in Lexington, two in Louisville and locations in Pikeville and Somerset.

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