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Blood Drive

Join MaineHealth in supporting the "Distance Saves Lives" Blood Drive

Maine communities are facing a critical need for blood donations during the coronavirus outbreak. That's why MaineHealth is partnering with local business leaders and the American Red Cross to create the “Distance Saves Lives” blood drive, to be held in Portland every Wednesday for 14 weeks. MaineHealth is providing volunteer clinical staff to assist with blood collection.

Working together, we will get through this.

Thank you to our partner sponsors and the American Red Cross for hosting the Distance Saves Lives Blood Drive.

Blood Drive Sponsor logos

Distance Saves Lives Blood Drive 

  • WHERE: Portland Elks Lodge, 1945 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04102
  • WHEN: By appointment only - Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through July 1, 2020
  • HOW: Blood drive staff will wear protective gear and follow strict social distancing rules. Please make an appointment in advance so staff can manage special safety protocols such as maintaining a safe distance between each donor. For more information, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767) or visit www.redcrossblood.org.
  • WHY: As the coronavirus pandemic has grown across our country, so have blood drive cancellations. The need for blood is constant, and growing. Blood drives are considered an essential service and are therefore exempt from current federal and state shelter-in-place orders.

In addition to the use of appointments to ensure distance between donors, blood drive staff will also:

  • Check temperatures of all staff and donors before entering the drive to make sure they are healthy
  • Enforce social distancing rules in the entry, donation and refreshment areas of the building
  • Provide hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process
  • Frequently disinfect all surfaces and equipment
  • Use a single point of entry and a separate exit
“It is important, not only to our caregivers and patients, but to our entire region, that we not let our supplies of donated blood fall to critical levels. This is a significant priority that deserves our attention and the attention of everyone in the community who is able to donate blood. Together, we’ll get through this pandemic.” - Dora Mills, MD, Chief Health Improvement Officer

Frequently Asked Questions

Like a hospital, grocery store, or pharmacy, a blood drive is essential to ensuring the health of the community, and the Red Cross will continue to hold blood drives during this challenging time to help meet patient needs. In fact, the U.S. surgeon general has said, “(Y)ou can still go out and give blood. We’re worried about potential blood shortages in the future. Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration have also issued statements encouraging blood donation for those who are well.

We understand that people have concerns right now about all aspects of public health, but want to stress that donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give. Blood drives are not considered “mass gatherings” as these are controlled events with trained staff and appropriate safety measures to protect donors and recipients. It’s important to note that at each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols to help prevent the spread of any type of infection.

Blood donation is an "essential service" and "critical infrastructure" function as determined by the United States Department of Homeland Security and many other federal, state and local authorities.
Healthy individuals can still donate in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations. The Red Cross is working closely with national and local officials, and recommends people leave home only for necessities—be they health care, groceries, or blood donation.

In fact, the U.S. surgeon general has said, “(Y)ou can still go out and give blood. We’re worried about potential blood shortages in the future. Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration have also issued statements encouraging blood donation for those who are well.

During a crisis, we see the best of humanity when people step up and help their neighbors. Amid this coronavirus emergency, we are asking individuals to take this responsibility seriously by practicing social distancing and donating blood. These two activities—which are not mutually exclusive—will go a long way in keeping community members healthy by slowing the spread of the virus and by ensuring that patients across the country receive lifesaving blood.

We understand that people have concerns right now about all aspects of public health, but want to stress that donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give. It’s important to note that blood drives have highest standards of safety and infection control. We are also spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood donors and are looking at staggering donor appointments further apart to reduce the number of people at a drive at any one time.
It’s important to emphasize that blood drives are not mass gatherings and adhere to the highest standards of safety and infection control, and we have put additional safety precautions in place to limit the number of donors in any given space and follow social distancing practices.

Right now, we are emphasizing the importance of blood donation appointments to manage the flow of donors and we are also looking at staggering donor appointments further apart to reduce the number of people at a drive at any one time. At blood drives and donation centers, we may also ask individuals to wait in their cars until we are ready to start the blood donation process to further limit congregating in the arrival area.

Blood donation is an "essential service" and "critical infrastructure" function as determined by the United States Department of Homeland Security and many other federal, state and local authorities. Healthy individuals can still donate in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations. The Red Cross is working closely with national and local officials, and recommends people leave home only for necessities—be they health care, groceries, or blood donation.

With blood drive cancellations continuing at an alarming rate due to coronavirus concerns, one of the most important things people can do to ensure we don’t have another health care crisis on top of the coronavirus is to give blood.

That’s why we are urging healthy, eligible individuals to schedule a blood or platelet donation appointment at RedCrossBlood.org today to help patients counting on lifesaving blood. Without continued blood and platelet donations, patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer could be impacted.

The American Red Cross has an ongoing critical need for blood donations amidst coronavirus uncertainties. We greatly appreciate the generosity of the public to help stock hospital shelves for patients in need. But this crisis isn’t over. As experts have emphasized, there is no certain end date in this fight against coronavirus and the Red Cross needs the help of blood donors and blood drive hosts to maintain a sufficient blood supply for weeks to come.

Right now, people are following public health guidance to keep their families safe – and that includes contributing to a readily, available blood supply for hospitals. Blood products are perishable, and the only source of lifesaving blood for patients is volunteer blood donors.

Red Cross Blood Donor App

Download the free Red Cross Blood Donor app to easily schedule appointments, access your donor card and RapidPass®, track donations, get rewards and more. Text BLOODAPP to 90999 to get the app that helps save lives.

Contact Us

For more information, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767) or visit www.redcrossblood.org.