Make a New Year’s Resolution to give blood in 2021; Next blood drive to be held Thursday, January 7; Convalescent plasma donors now accepted

The next LifeServe Blood Center blood drive will be held Thursday, January 7 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in south Waukon. Blood drives are held every month in Waukon. The LifeServe Blood Center of Iowa supplies Veterans Memorial Hospital with blood and blood products. Many Iowans are encouraged to make donating blood on a regular basis their New Year’s resolution this year.

The need for blood has not stopped during COVID-19 and is in even higher demand, so the local blood drives continue to be held. LifeServe team members only report to work if they are healthy, and only healthy donors are eligible to give blood. Blood drives are essential medical services and not considered mass gatherings. The number of donors is limited to ensure donor separation, and staff has strict cleaning and disinfection schedules. Other measures are also in place to ensure the safety of the blood supply so these lifesaving donations can continue during COVID-19.

The LifeServe Blood Center of Iowa is seeking donors to ensure a safe and plentiful blood supply in Iowa. Because there is no substitute for human blood, the need for donors is continuous. Over half of the United States population is eligible to donate blood, yet less than four percent donate on a regular basis.

A single donation of blood can be used to save up to three lives and help in treatment of cancer patients, accident victims, hemophiliacs and surgery patients. The LifeServe Blood Center of Iowa is committed to serving the needs of Iowans by saving lives through volunteer blood donation.

The blood that is collected is tested carefully. In fact, all blood that is collected by any blood collection center is all tested the same, according to the federal regulations.

To help maintain Iowa’s blood supply, donate at the Waukon Community Blood Drive, Thursday, January 7, at the First Baptist Church in south Waukon. Eligible donors must be at least 17 years of age, be in general good health and weigh at least 120 pounds. Appointments are encouraged and walk-ins can only be accepted as the schedule permits. To schedule and appointment, call the LifeServe Blood Center at 800-287-4903.

Convalescent plasma donation is now also an option at the local Waukon Blood Drives. Convalescent plasma (CCP) is the liquid portion of the blood that is rich in antibodies that are used to treat or prevent serious infection. Anyone that was confirmed to have COVID-19 may be producing these specific COVID-19 antibodies.

To be considered for this special donor program, the donor must meet one of the following criteria: have a confirmed positive molecular test (PCR) for infection with COVID and provide a completed physician referral form or proof of positive test and be fully recovered from COVID-19 (symptom free for more than 14 days), or had received a COVID-19 diagnosis from a physician without a positive test or had symptoms indicative of COVID-19 and be fully recovered and symptom free for more than 14 days.

For those interested in donating convalescent plasma, a pre-assessment qualification form can be located at www.lifeservebloodcenter.org to see if they meet all the criteria required for this special donation.

For additional information about the process and to make an appointment for convalescent plasma donation, call the CCP Donation Hotline at 800-297-4903 Option #1.

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