Community keeping up with blood donations during pandemic
By Josh Staloch
GREEN BAY – As society works to get a handle on the coronavirus pandemic, local Red Cross employees are busy as ever and are reporting the community has kept up with the increased need for blood donations.
The Red Cross donation center on Deckner Avenue regularly sees a healthy amount of cars in its parking these days, with local residents responding to the medical community’s requests for additional help in keeping blood banks stocked.
Currently, donations of all blood types are welcomed and needed, but Type O Negative is in high demand.
Also in high demand is convalescent plasma, which is being used to directly fight COVID-19.
“Convalescent plasma is from those folks who have recovered from COVID-19,” said Michelle Goodwill, bilingual district manager of recruitment at the Green Bay Red Cross office. “We can then use their plasma to help treat folks who are currently battling COVID-19.”
Goodwill said the facility is also in the middle of an orientation for a new group of hires, who will help meet the increased demand.
“With the uptick in cases happening across the country, there is an urgent need for (donations),” she said. “All of our donations right now are also being tested for COVID antibodies.”
Goodwill said the community blood drives taking place at Lambeau Field through a program with the Packers have been a success.
Since the end of May, the Green and Gold have opened the stadium gates for a weekly blood drive which has helped the effort to keep the area’s blood supply levels healthy.
“The summer months are traditionally the hardest for getting donations, and so the Packers have been phenomenal in hosting us,” Goodwill said of the Lambeau Filed drives, which will be continuing Wednesdays through the month of August. “It’s a great partnership.”
The two organizations reached a milestone as the Red Cross and the Packers recently passed the 10,000-pint mark since the start of the community blood drive program at Lambeau in 2009.
“We are proud to join the Red Cross in celebrating this special 10,000-pint milestone,” said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. “We are thankful to the donors for their consistent giving even during the pandemic, and to the support of the Red Cross staff and our fans. We look forward to hosting more drives in the future as the need for blood donations persists.”
Check redcrossblood.org to learn about upcoming blood drives and what know before donating, including how to make an appointment.