The American Red Cross is asking for blood donations after a severe blood supply shortage cause by blood drive cancellations in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Healthy people are needed now to donate to help patients counting on lifesaving blood, the Red Cross said in a statement.
There is no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion and there have been no reported cases of transfusion transmission for any respiratory virus, including this coronavirus, the Red Cross said.
In North Texas, 32 blood drives have been canceled, resulting in 1,258 fewer blood donations, the Red Cross said.
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Nearly 2,700 blood drives have been canceled across the country due to concerns about social gatherings at locations such as colleges, churches and community centers. More than 80% of the blood the Red Cross collects comes from drives at these types of locations.
"In our experience, the American public comes together to support those in need during times of shortage and that support is needed now more than ever during this unprecedented public health crisis," said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. "Unfortunately, when people stop donating blood, it forces doctors to make hard choices about patient care, which is why we need those who are healthy and well to roll up a sleeve and give the gift of life."
The Red Cross expects cancellations to continue, resulting in a heightened concern for blood collection organizations and hospitals. The blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies or patients suffering from cancer, the Red Cross said.
The Red Cross has implemented new measures to ensure blood drives and donation centers are even safer for doctors and staff, including checking the temperature of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy, providing hand sanitizer, spacing beds and disinfecting surfaces and equipment. More information is available here.
There are upcoming blood drives scheduled in North Texas:
Monday, March 23, from 1 - 7 p.m., Holiday Inn Express, 205 Central Expressway N.
Monday, March 23, March 30, both days from 1 - 7 p.m., Dallas Red Cross,2055 Kendall Drive
Tuesday, March 17 and March 24, both days noon - 6 p.m., Holiday Inns and Suites, 3220 Craig Drive