After a three-month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, Picatinny Arsenal hosted a rescheduled blood drive Aug. 28.
Approximately 70 service members, employees, and residents of Picatinny Arsenal voluntarily signed up to donate blood.
"Picatinny is the largest government blood donor group for New York/New Jersey Blood Services; they depend on our successful drives to help with the blood supply,” said Tammy Mitchell, Picatinny Blood Drive chairperson.“ Unfortunately due to COVID, we had to cancel both of our May drives, which is a large number of units that were not collected. We are hoping that Picatinny can help contribute to the blood supply by holding one of our regularly scheduled drives during this pandemic.”
To keep everyone safe, adjustments were made to the donation site’s processes. To prevent crowding, appointments were highly encouraged. Nurses took temperatures of both staff and donors before anyone entered the site. Everyone wore masks. Stations and beds were set up further apart, and all surfaces were wiped down after each donor’s departure. Social distancing was also enforced in the campaign area where cookies and juice were served during recuperation.
As most organizations are currently making decisions on whether to reopen during this pandemic, a blood drive may not exactly be at the top of their list of things to do. However, blood donation is still an important concern, especially when there’s a critically low shortage in supply.
“The pandemic fundamentally changed the way people give blood, and 75 percent of our blood came from blood drives within communities, like work centers, high schools, colleges, and places of worship,” said Andrea Cefarelli, Senior Executive Director Donor Recruitment and Marketing. “Your blood drive is extremely important to us because you’re one of the few organizations that are willing to open their doors to host a drive during a pandemic and we’re extremely grateful.”
The next two blood drives at Picatinny Arsenal are currently scheduled for Nov. 6 and 13. All eligible donors are encouraged to attend.
Check out these numbers from the NY Blood Center at nybloodcenter.org:
• 2 seconds: How often someone needs blood
• 42 days: Shelf life of donated red blood cells
• 5 days: Shelf life of donated platelets
• 56 days: How often you can donate
• 17% Number of non-donors who cite “never thought about it” as the main reason for not giving
• 4 easy steps: Registration, medical history, donation and snacks
• 10 minutes: How long the actual donation will take
• 10 pints: Amount of blood in the average adult body
• 1 pint: Amount of your donation
The Lives Saved
• 1 in 3 people will need a blood product in their lifetime
• Surgical, trauma and cancer patients and those with blood disorders need blood
• If only 1 percent more of Americans donated, blood shortages would disappear