In times of need, you may find yourself wondering how you can help your community. While there are many ways to have an impact, one very crucial way to help others in-need is by donating blood!

Coronavirus Updates, News | 2 months ago

Atrium Health Partners with OneBlood to Host Community Blood Drives

In times of need, you may find yourself wondering how you can help your community. While there are many ways to have an impact, one very crucial way to help others in-need is by donating blood.

 


As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak continues to spread rapidly across the United States, our nation is facing a critical blood shortage affecting thousands of individuals who rely on blood donations to survive. So, what can you do to help? If you are able to donate blood, Atrium Health is encouraging you to do so and is providing opportunities at its locations in the greater Charlotte area to make it as easy to donate as possible.

 

Atrium Health partner OneBlood will have the Big Red Bus to provide blood products for our Atrium Health facilities. All of their donation centers are open, and they’ve also deployed mobile blood centers throughout the community to encourage as many people. Check out the locations and times below and schedule an appointment with OneBlood if you want to help make a significant contribution to our patients in-need.

Atrium Health Facility

Date

Time

Atrium Health Pineville

May 14 & May 28

1 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Atrium Health Mercy

May 11, May 18 & May 27

2 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center

May 12 & May 26

1 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Atrium Health Union

May 18 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Atrium Health Cleveland

May 7 & May 21

11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Atrium Health Kings Mountain

May 14 & May 28

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Atrium Health Cabarrus

May 13 & May 27

2 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Atrium Health Lincoln

May 19 & May 21

10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Your blood donation could help to save lives

For medical staff who rely on blood for treatments, blood donations are vital and could end up saving lives. In fact, every two seconds of every day, someone needs blood. Javier Oesterheld, MD, medical director of the pediatric cancer program at Levine Children’s Hospital stresses the importance of blood donations in order to treat pediatric cancer patients who may require transfusions for their chemotherapy treatment. In addition to cancer treatments, blood donations benefit patients undergoing orthopedic surgeries, cardiovascular surgeries, blood disorder treatments and more. And with each donation, you have the potential to save up to not one, not two – but three lives!

“It's an essential part of our therapy and how we treat our patients,” says Dr. Oesterheld. “If we can't continue to [provide blood transfusions], their symptoms could be so severe that many patients could actually die without the blood that we need.”

Transplants require blood as well. David Levi, MD, a transplant surgeon with Atrium Health, says that some transplants – especially liver transplants – can’t proceed unless there’s enough blood. Even if a liver donor is available and the medical team is ready to operate, the transplant may not proceed without sufficient blood. Blood donors become part of that medical team, allowing a transplant surgery to save a life.

“[With COVID-19], this is an overwhelming situation we’re facing, and so much of it feels beyond our control,” Dr. Levi says. “It’s hard to know how to make a real impact. But we, as a community, can cross a blood shortage off our list of problems. We can address this, we really can.”

Here at Atrium Health, we don’t just talk the talk, but we also walk the walk. Watch as Dr. Andrew Herman, chief medical officer of Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital and Jeff Gordon Children’s Center, donates blood at one of our mobile locations stationed in front of Levine Children’s Hospital. As someone who benefitted from blood donation first-hand after a terrible biking accident several years ago, he encourages anyone who is eligible to donate if they are able.

“Blood donors are needed now more than ever,” says Erica Byer, regional director of OneBlood. “Every blood drive is important and every blood donation is crucial.”

Safety first

If you’re worried about whether it’s safe to donate blood at your appointment, know that OneBlood is taking every measure possible to effectively sterilize the environment and is accepting a limited number of donations at a time on their sites so as to keep the Big Red Bus and our donors safe.

“Safety of the blood supply, our donors, team members, and blood recipients are OneBlood’s top priorities,” says Byer. “It is safe to donate blood. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that the coronavirus does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives.”

“OneBlood has added additional safety protocols at Blood Drives and Donor Centers with Social Distancing. At blood drives, only a certain number of people will be permitted on the bus at any one time,” she says. “Donors will be asked to provide their cell phone number so they can wait in their car or outside the Big Red Bus. They will be called when it is their turn to donate blood. At our donor centers, donors can wait in the donor center but are asked to maintain a safe distance between other donors. Or they can wait in their car and they will be called when it is their turn to donate.”

Schedule your appointment to donate today and encourage others who want to give back to the community to donate too!


While the Big Red Bus accepts walk-ins, One Blood is encouraging donors to make online appointments at www.oneblood.org to further assist with social distancing efforts and help with donor flow.

If you have questions about your eligibility to donate, be sure to check out the requirements listed by OneBlood.