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Jun 30

Event at Okun Fieldhouse open to public with additional safety measures

Posted on June 30, 2020 at 12:53 PM by Becky Burnside

At a time when blood donations are needed like never before, JCPRD is hosting an early July blood drive at the Okun Fieldhouse, which will provide plenty of space for physical distancing.
This drive, conducted in partnership with the Community Blood Center, is open to the public and will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, at the fieldhouse, which is located within the Mid-America West Sports Complex at 20200 Johnson Drive, Shawnee. For this event, appointments are preferred, and can be made at savealifenow.org/group using group code CBRI. Walk-ins are also welcome if space permits. 

“I’m being told that current blood supplies are at unprecedentedly low levels, with less than a two-day supply of all types,” said JCPRD Children’s Services Specialist Rob Knaussman, a member of JCPRD’s internal Wellness Committee. “Blood drives were cancelled from March through May, but fortunately at the same time blood usage was down since individuals were delaying elective surgeries due to COVID-19.  In the past few weeks the need for blood has dramatically increased.”

He added that due to social distancing guidelines, many organizations were forced to cancel their blood drives because they are unable to provide a large enough venue, but fortunately, JCPRD was able to move its drive to the Okun Fieldhouse, which is a 56,500-square-foot indoor sports facility.

JCPRD’s Wellness Committee, typically conducts blood drives semi-annually in January and July. While primarily aimed at employees, the events are listed on the Community Blood Center’s website and usually draw a handful of members of the public as well. In addition to being more spread out, the July drive will also involve additional safety measures in regards to COVID-19. 

Among the changes for this drive: blood center employees will have their temperatures taken prior to the start of each shift,  donor temperatures will be taken before they can start the registration process, employees will wear masks and donors will also have to wear a face covering, and the setup of the drive will allow more social spacing between donors and staff.
“Our goal is generally set between 30-40 donors, depending on the number of beds and more importantly the number of Alyx (blood component collection system) machines they are able to bring,” Knaussman said. “Alyx machines are incredible!   Of the three blood components (red cells, platelets, and plasma), red blood cells are in the greatest demand.  One donation on an Alyx machine collects twice as many red cells compared to a regular whole blood donation. We really try to encourage those staff with rare blood types to donate on the Alyx machines.”
All presenting donors will receive a free Royals rally towel, and Chick-Fil-A will be donating 50 sandwiches for participants.

For medical eligibility questions, call 1 (800) 688-0900. For additional details about the July 8 drive, contact Rob Knaussman at rob.knaussman@jocogov.org, or at (913) 826-3023.