UM Charles Regional Medical Center Blood Drives Gain Outstanding Community Support
University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center (UM CRMC) partnered with the American Red Cross in April to help the organization fill the need for blood donations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cancellations of blood drives across the Washington, DC region at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant reduction in blood donations, impacting people who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, patients suffering from cancer, and more.
In response, the Community Health Team at UM CRMC partnered with the Red Cross to coordinate two blood drives, held on Tuesday, April 14th, and Monday, April 27th, at the American Legion Post in La Plata. Despite stay-at-home restrictions currently affecting Maryland residents, registration for both days completely filled in a matter of days.
"Historically, our blood drives have been well-attended, and our community did not disappoint in their response to these events," said Noel Cervino, President and CEO of Charles County's community hospital. Between these two April blood drives 78 residents, nearly half of which were first-time donors, donated enough blood to help over 200 patients—helping American Red Cross fulfill a critical need for blood services.
In addition, UM CRMC has developed a flyer, distributed to patients who have recovered from COVID-19, encouraging them to contact the American Red Cross about making a plasma donation to be used by those still battling coronavirus. The Red Cross is evaluating convalescent plasma treatment for these cases.
UM CRMC's next blood drive is scheduled for Monday, June 22nd at the La Plata United Methodist Church. Potential donors can register for this blood drive or find more open blood drives in the region by visiting https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive.