By Miles Beauchamp, PhD
Dr. Beauchamp teaches writing and diverse communications at Alliant International University. He co-wrote Disabled Literature and has another book due for release. He has been with the Asian Journal since the 1990’s.
The American Red Cross
Where do you turn for important emergency information?
News is a constant barrage: viruses, political unrest, emergencies of so many kinds. Where do we get the information we need to make decisions? One extremely valuable place is the Red Cross. At this time, the American Red Cross is closely monitoring the evolving situation regarding the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Recently they stated that “We are currently working with government agencies and state officials to determine what Red Cross support may be needed in the coming days and weeks.As always, the American Red Cross remains dedicated to providing the safest, most reliable blood products possible to patients in need. The risk of contracting any coronavirus through a blood transfusion is extremely low because of the domestic health screening process for blood donors. It is important to note that there have been no reported transfusion transmissions of respiratory viruses including coronaviruses and influenza-like viruses worldwide.The Red Cross continues to use safety measures to protect the blood supply from all respiratory viruses including this coronavirus strain. Out of an abundance of caution, the Red Cross is working to implement a deferral for individuals who have traveled to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau. Right now, the Red Cross asks that all individuals who have traveled to China self-defer, or to postpone their blood and platelet donation until 28 days following return to the U.S.We are evaluating all emerging risks in collaboration with AABB, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if additional intervention strategies will be needed as the situation evolves.Overseas, the Red Cross of China is supporting its government to help meet the huge and sudden demand for medical items including masks and gowns. International Red Cross societies are also working with health authorities to educate communities about how to mitigate the spread of this virus and informing people how to stay healthy.For the latest information, including tips on how to stay healthy, please visit cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.
Nearly One-Quarter of the Nation’s Blood Supply is Needed for Cancer Patients
The “American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society announced their Give Blood to Give Time partnership to raise awareness on how blood donations help patients fighting cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation, used to treat cancer, can damage the body’s ability to generate healthy blood cells and cause potentially life-threatening conditions. Blood transfusions from generous donors help to provide patients with critical clotting factors, proteins and antibodies needed to help their bodies fight back.“The need for blood in cancer treatments is an important and untold story,” said Gary Reedy, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “The American Cancer Society is excited to be working with the Red Cross on Give Blood to Give Time. Through this partnership, we want people to know there are multiple ways they can help and make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and their families.”“The Give Blood to Give Time partnership is a wonderful opportunity to harness the unique strengths of both organizations and provide a way for people to help give patients and their families the resources they need to fight back,” said Gail McGovern, president and chief executive officer of the American Red Cross. “I know from experience that a loved one’s diagnosis can make family and friends feel helpless. They often don’t realize that individuals can make a difference by giving blood and platelets.”To schedule a blood donation appointment or make a financial gift, you can visit GiveBloodToGiveTime.org to give patients and their families time, resources and the hope needed to fight back. Give Blood to Give Time is a meaningful way to honor a loved one who is battling or has battled cancer. There are three ways to give to help cancer patients in need today:
•Donate blood to the American Red Cross to provide lifesaving blood products to cancer patients when they need it.
•Give a financial gift to the American Cancer Society to support its comprehensive approach to attacking cancer that includes breakthrough research, free rides to treatment, free lodging near hospitals and a live 24/7 helpline.
•Give a financial gift to the American Red Cross to support the collection and distribution of lifesaving blood products to cancer patients in need.The Red Cross and American Cancer Society appreciate the support of Merck Pharmaceuticals who have joined the Give Blood to Give Time partnership. To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.”
Gifts come in many forms: blood, cash, time, energy and others. Contact your local Red Cross office or International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement