As the number of coronavirus cases grows in New York, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) is calling on organizations to maintain their scheduled blood drives so healthy donors can help replenish the blood supply.
Many blood drives are held at businesses, schools and other organizations. As these places take precautions against coronavirus, many are cancelling their scheduled blood drives. NYBC states that the cancellations pose a significant threat to the blood supply, and that blood is a critical component of emergency preparedness because blood is perishable , and the supply must be constantly replenished.
In anticipation for the cancelled drives, NYBC is looking to double their blood supply in an effort to prevent shortages.
“Every donation at every blood drive is critical,” said Christopher D. Hillyer, MD, President and CEO of New York Blood Center. “As healthy, eligible donors, we have a responsibility to our neighbors to keep the blood supply safe and robust. A resilient healthcare system is more important than ever and we’re counting on everyone to help maintain that.”
NYBC is reminding the public that it is safe to donate blood — the staff are trained in universal precautions to help prevent the risk of spreading infectious agents and they regularly clean the surfaces used during donation. People are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms, and donors are encouraged to refrain from donating or attending a blood drive if they have traveled to areas with COVID-19 outbreaks, as defined by the CDC, or come into contact with anyone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
For more information or to find a blood drive near you, visit the NYBC website.