NEW ORLEANS – Across the blood industry, more than 4,000 blood drives have cancelled, resulting in some 130,000 fewer blood donations due to coronavirus concerns.
“Local numbers are just as staggering. The Blood Center’s had 79 blood drives cancel resulting in a loss of at least 2,205 measurable donations or the equivalent of nearly two weeks of hospital needs in Southeastern Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast” says Billy Weales, President and CEO of The Blood Center.
“We’re seeing cancellations and a rapidly decreasing number of blood donors right now. There’s concern over the coronavirus, but hospitals face a bigger problem if there’s no blood available,” says Dr. Tim Peterson, Medical Director of The Blood Center. “We’re urging the public to follow the personal hygiene protocol suggested by the CDC, but also schedule an appointment to give blood.”
Dr. Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research says “We need people to prevent the blood supply from getting depleted. We need it not to get to the point that surgeries are having to get canceled. That’s something we absolutely do not want to have happen. To ensure an adequate blood supply we need people to come out and donate blood.”
“The safety of our donors, patients and staff are our biggest priority,” says Mr. Weales. “We’re focused on keeping our donor centers and mobile blood collection areas safe and sanitary for the public help save lives. We need current and first time donors to make and keep their donation appointments so a sufficient blood supply is there when patients need it.”
Scheduled blood donations ensure the fastest donation time, because staff is expecting the donor and they’re able to begin the survey portion of the donation process from their home, office or virtually any web enabled device.
Visit TheBloodCenter.org to schedule a donation appointment or call 800-86-BLOOD to help organize a blood drive for your business, school, civic or religious organization today.
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