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American Red Cross urges healthy individuals to donate blood amid coronavirus crisis

Blood donations
Posted at 12:12 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 12:12:49-04

CLEVELAND — Amid concerns that the outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 will limit donor participation, the American Red Cross is urging healthy individuals to give blood or platelets.

Cold and flu season significantly impacted the blood supply with a decrease in donors, and as the number of coronavirus cases grows in the United States, blood donations could decrease even more.

There is no data, evidence or indication that coronavirus COVID-19 is transmissible through blood infusion and there have been no cases reported worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus from a transfusion, according to the American Red Cross.

“We’re asking the American people to help keep the blood supply stable during this challenging time. As communities across the country prepare for this public health emergency, it’s critical that plans include a readily available blood supply for hospital patients,” said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Blood Services. “As fears of coronavirus rise, low donor participation could harm blood availability at hospitals, and the last thing a patient should worry about is whether lifesaving blood will be on the shelf when they need it most.”

Healthy individuals who would like to donate blood or platelets can make an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by clicking here.

Those who have traveled to China, Iran, Italy and South Korea are asked to postpone blood donations for 28 days. Anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has had contact with someone suspected to have the virus is also asked to postpone donation at least 28 days.

Blood drives have been planned across Northeast Ohio and American Red Cross workers will follow thorough safety protocols at each donation.

To find a blood drive near you, click here.

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