'Severe Blood Shortage:' Red Cross Needs Donations Amid Outbreak

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Blood donations at critical shortage because of coronavirus pandemic

He needed a couple blood transfusions.

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Illinois) is encouraging constituents to respond to the 2020 census online while practicing social distancing and to donate blood if they feel well. All donors need to bring a form of identification with them when donating. They are also willing to answer questions and set up appointments with a phone call. "But the need for blood is constant". "We've lost more than 25% of what we anticipanted to collect as of this point in March". That's something we absolutely do not want to have happen.

"Even though this situation continues to change rapidly, there are still patients in hospital who need blood and are relying on people to continue making these generous donations". Vitalant is now struggling to keep their inventory and are asking the public to do their part and help by donating blood.

In a statement, the not-for-profit organization America's Blood Centers emphasized that "there is no known risk to the safety of the nation's blood supply" due to coronavirus. The agency said it has an ongoing need for blood, stem cells, plasma, organ and tissue donors.

"We're deemed an essential service, so as things continue to move along, we're definitely being given access to different things as required to make sure we're continuing our operations as best as possible", she said.

Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center, at 3357 Village Drive in the Bordeaux Shopping Center in Fayetteville, has protocols in place to deal with the virus and is open for appiontments. Staff will also enhance disinfection of equipment and give out hand sanitizer before and during donation appointments, the organization said.

LifeShare follows FDA safety regulations to ensure a safe hygienic donation environment.

The shortage of blood supplies does not affect patients afflicted with COVID-19 or the ability of health providers to respond to cases of that illness.

There is no evidence that suggests COVID-19 can be transmitted by blood transfusion, according to the Red Cross.

Blood donors should be healthy. "If you are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give, please schedule an appointment to give now", added Hrouda.

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