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Red Cross blood donation drives coming to area

Vincent Marshall
vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com

In the spirit of the giving season, the American Red Cross will be setting up in local communities for December blood drives.

According to the Red Cross, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, more than 1 million blood transfusions will be given in the United States.

To ensure hospital shelves remain stocked, donations of all blood types are needed.

The local blood drives are as follows:

Ford County

• Dodge City: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at the Dodge City Senior Center, 2408 Central Ave.

• Bucklin: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Bucklin Community Church, 204 S. Ford Avenue.

Gray County

• Montezuma: 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Morningside Community Church, 100 N. Apache.

• Cimarron: 2 to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Gray County Recrecation Center, 17002 US-50 highway.

Those wishing to donate can set up an appointment on the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

The Red Cross will also be testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies.

According to the Red Cross, COVID-19 convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation given by those who have recovered from the novel coronavirus.

The plasma will contain antibodies which can be used for patients in combating COVID-19.

"The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms," said the American Red Cross in a news release.  "Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. "Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus."

The Red Cross will have antibody testing within one to two weeks and can be found on the app or at RedCrossBlood.org.

However, a positive result from the antibody test will not confirm infection or immunity as there will not be diagnostic testing done.

If anyone is not feeling well or believes they may be ill, the Red Cross asks that they not partake in a donation.

During the donation process, the Red Cross will have temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff.

An appointment needs to be placed before arrival and masks will be required.

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.