Urgent Need for Blood Donations Continues as COVID-19 Persists July 21, 2020

Kentucky Blood Center Continues to Fight Shortages from Pandemic Fallout

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky Blood Center continues to fight blood shortages this summer and needs local donors to roll up their sleeves to combat the problem. KBC, which supplies blood to more than 70 Kentucky hospitals, has an urgent need for all blood types and is encouraging donors to make an appointment and donate as soon as possible.

KBC relies heavily on mobile blood drives to support the blood supply, but collections have been greatly  reduced due to social distancing limitations and business and school closures. With reopening efforts being dialed back, the nonprofit expects further cancelations and collection challenges.

“The summer months are always difficult for blood centers, and this summer is even more challenging than most due to the pandemic,” Mandy Brajuha, Vice President of External Relations, said. “We need healthy donors to donate as often as they can by visiting a KBC donor center or mobile blood drive.”

Due to social distancing guidelines, appointments are required and can be made at www.kybloodcenter.org or by calling 800.775.2522. All six KBC donor centers (listed below) are open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.  and Saturdays from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Face coverings should be worn while visiting our donor centers. Mobile blood drive locations can also be found on the website.

Recovered COVID-19 Patients Needed for Convalescent Plasma Donation

Kentucky Blood Center was proud to be the very first community blood center to collect plasma from a recovered COVID-19 patient after the FDA approved the experimental treatment for critically ill patients on March 26. Since that time, KBC has assisted numerous hospital partners with the plasma collection and to date has collected more than 120 donations of convalescent plasma for Kentucky patients.

As the virus continues to persist, hospitals are continuing to utilize the plasma in treatments, and the usage is rising daily. To date, more than 370 doses of plasma has been sent to Kentucky hospitals to treat patients. 

Because of the increased use, Kentucky Blood Center is seeking more recovered patients to submit their information to its online registry so they can be contacted to donate. The form is available here. The nonprofit encourages individuals who either had a positive COVID-19 test or have tested positive for COVID antibodies to complete the registry questionnaire. 

“We know that Kentucky has had more than 20,000 positive tests and more than 6,800 recovered patients,” said Dr. Dennis Williams, Medical Director for KBC. “We need those recovered patients to join us as we help Kentucky hospitals fight this disease.”

Potential donors will need documentation of their positive COVID-19 test. A patient may then be able to donate if they have been symptom-free for at least 14 days. The donor will complete the blood donation health history questionnaire on the day of donation to qualify for blood donation. The plasma donation itself takes less than an hour.

About Kentucky Blood Center

Celebrating more than 50 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Pikeville and Somerset.