GLASGOW — Several people who turned out Wednesday afternoon for the blood drive at the T.J. Health Pavilion in the Barren River Plaza shopping center did so because they heard there is a desperate need for blood donations.
Terri Spillman of Glasgow was among those who turned out to donate.
“They are saying there is an urgent need for blood and my blood is what they want — O-negative,” she said.
Spillman gives blood on a regular basis. She waited outside on the sidewalk to see if someone with the American Red Cross would come out and call her name. T.J. Regional Health partnered with the Red Cross to do the blood drive.
There was some confusion on Wednesday as to whether anyone could just show up and give blood, or if they had to make an appointment first.
The Red Cross had initially requested appointments, but when some didn’t appear at their appointed time the next person in line was given that time slot.
Spillman didn’t have an appointment, but she waited to see if she could give blood, keeping in mind to stay a minimum of 6 feet away from others who were also waiting so as to not to continue the spread of COVID-19.
Linda Payne of Glasgow also did not have an appointment to give blood. She, too, waited and eventually was given a time slot when one person cancelled their appointment.
She turned out to give blood, she said, because “they need it.”
“They need B-positive. I came out here to give to help somebody,” she said.
A line of people waiting for their turn to donate blood formed behind Spillman and Payne.
Stacey Biggs, executive vice president of marketing, planning and development for T.J. Regional Health, grew emotional as she saw the number of people who turned out for the blood drive.
The blood drive on Wednesday was the first one T.J. Regional Health has hosted since the outbreak of COVID-19.
“The need for blood never stops. Obviously, as a hospital, we are one of the ones who need the blood. We are great partners with the American Red Cross and I’m actually on the board of Red Cross. I was in a board meeting a few days ago where they were talking about how blood drives have been cancelled right and left, understandably so because people are you know a little cautious about coming out to a blood drive for that matter, but they still need blood,” she said.
The reason why there is still a need for blood is because people are still undergoing surgeries and there are still emergencies and traumas that happen, Biggs said.
“Obviously, as a user of the blood bank we want to be able to help supply that,” she said.
The blood drive began at 1 p.m. Wednesday and continued to 6 p.m. For those who didn’t get a chance to donate on Wednesday, T.J. Regional Health will hold another one on April 8, Biggs said.
She went online on Tuesday to get a time slot for herself so she could donate blood on Wednesday, but said all of the time slots were full.
“The second one on April 8 is already filling up but as of this morning there were still slots available. We are hoping to add another one too and we are also trying to set one up at our second hospital location in Columbia,” she said.
Biggs had no confirmed date for the blood drive at T.J. Health Columbia in Adair County.
“Another reason why we wanted to do it from a community standpoint is people want to help. They want to do something to contribute,” she said.