March 31, 2020
By Sharon Leary
The need for blood is constant. Even during the current COVID 19 public health crisis, blood is needed for many procedures and therapies. Cardiac surgeries, organ transplants and platelet transfusions for cancer patients are just some of the reasons we are in constant need of blood.
Here’s what you need to know when you go to your appointment to give blood:
- Drink plenty of fluids the day before and day of your appointment; avoid strenuous exercise
- Bring identification with you
- Registration will include a mini physical and history
- The blood donation will take approximately 8-10 minutes
- After donation, you will enjoy a snack and refreshment for 10-15 minutes
For everyone’s safety, extra protocols have been put in place at blood donation facilities, including:
- Prescreening of donors
- Extra precautionary cleaning
- Spacing out of donors to comply with social distancing and group gathering restrictions
Per the Food & Drug Administration, donors should refrain from donating blood for 28 days if they have:
- Cared for or lived with individuals diagnosed with or suspected to be diagnosed with COVID 19
- Been in close contact with individuals diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID 19
- Been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID 19
- Recently returned from International travel
You can make an appointment to donate blood directly to your local health systems. Donating blood at a local hospital or medical center means the blood stays in Western Massachusetts. Here is a list of Western Massachusetts Hospitals where you can donate blood.
Athol Hospital 978-249-1174
2033 Main Street, Athol, MA
Monday – Friday 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
Saturday, 7:00 am to 2:30 pm
Baystate Health Donor Center 413-794-4600
***Currently located at 361 Whitney Ave, Holyoke, MA
Monday-Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Berkshire Medical Center & 413-447-2597
725 North Street, Pittsfield, MA-first floor or the Bloodmobile
Holyoke Medical Center 413-534-2591
575 Beech Street, Holyoke
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:00 am to 4:00 pm
Tuesday & Thursday: 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
You can also make an appointment to donate with the international organization the American Red Cross.
American Red Cross Donor line 1-800-733-2767
Western MA location: 150 Brookdale Drive, Springfield
Make an online appointment here: American Red Cross online appointments
The following local Western Massachusetts hospitals use Baystate Blood Donor Program and Holyoke Medical Center Blood Donor Program to procure some of their blood bank needs: Cooley-Dickinson Hospital, Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Baystate Noble, Baystate Wing Memorial Hospital.
Berkshire Medical Center Blood Donor program covers all of Berkshire County. There are two options to donate currently, you can make an appointment to donate in the hospital or the bloodmobile. It may be easier to get to the bloodmobile as there are strict protocols in place to enter the hospital. The Berkshire Health Systems bloodmobile schedule can be found here: Bloodmobile Schedule. Please check back daily as new dates are being added.
If you are feeling healthy, PLEASE consider making an appointment to donate blood.