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Red Cross encourages community members to consider becoming donors, sponsors

They're also testing blood donations for coronavirus antibodies.
Red Cross
Red Cross(WTAP)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 8:23 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - There’s a critical need for blood right now. Every day, the Red Cross welcomes donors to help save lives.

An added bonus to donating right now is finding out if there are coronavirus antibodies in your blood.

“The donation process is super easy. Come in the door we do have a different protocol now because of COVID-19. Coming in we’re taking temps at the door. It is put under your tongue so you would have you remove your mask just for a minute. After that we bring you down and register you with a photo ID or your donor card and then we just get you set up and get going,” says Beverly Austin, Donor Recruiter.

She say, “Initially people are worried about giving blood like oh yuck I don’t want to give blood. It’s not what everyone thinks and we hear more times than not oh my goodness this is so much easier than I anticipated.”

Donated blood is always tested for different illnesses and right now they’re also testing for coronavirus antibodies.

“Then you’ll receive an email into through your blood donor app or through your email registering through redcrossblood.org and it will give you a result negative or positive.”

Blood that comes back positive means the body may have created antibodies at some point to fight coronavirus.

In less than ten minutes the blood draw process is usually complete and besides an initial slight pinch, there’s really no pain.

Members of the community came out to donate at the Carmel Snow Mobile Club after the Carmel Rec. Director Deidra McIintosh decided to sponsor a blood drive.

“I reached out to the American Red Cross and thought it would be wonderful to have a blood drive during this time. They say being an individual you save up to three lives but us being a sponsor today we could save up to 120 lives,” says McIntosh.

She says, ”It’s actually really easy process to get started and you can save lives. And what better thing to do than that especially with a difficult thing we’re doing right going through right now.”

The Red Cross provides the coronavirus antibody test results in seven to ten days.

You can find all of the information right on their website, free app, or by giving them a call.

There’s a big one coming up in Skowhegan on Aug. 5th. It’s at the Steelworkers Union Hall on Waterville Road from 9am to 7pm.

Anyone is welcome. Just head to redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code SKOWHEGAN.

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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