Baystate Medical Center reopens blood donor center

SPRINGFIELD — With COVID-19 cases declining, Baystate Medical Center has reopened its blood donor center to the public.

The Blood Donor Center is located in the hospital’s Daly Building at 759 Chestnut St. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8 a.m. to noon. Appointments are required by calling 413-794-4600.

Only red blood cell donations are accepted at this time, and no platelets.

The Baystate Blood Donor Mobile for blood drives is currently not in service.

The reopening follows a nationwide blood shortage in January, mainly due to the rise of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, winter months when blood donations are at their lowest and staffing limitations that have caused many donor centers to close nationwide and blood drives to be cancelled.

Dr. Chester Andrzejewski, medical director of transfusion medicine services at Baystate Medical Center, stressed the importance of donations.

“By donating blood, an individual becomes a hero to someone by ensuring there is blood on our shelves when a patient desperately needs it. With just one donation, an individual can help save many lives,” Andrzejewski said.

At Baystate Health, 100% of all blood and platelet donations made through its blood donation program are used locally in Western Massachusetts. More than 5,000 Baystate patients receive more than 18,000 blood product transfusions each year.

Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and have photo ID. Donors can give blood every eight weeks.

Masks are mandatory to enter the hospital and to donate blood.

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