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COVID-19: Blood Donations Update

The nation’s blood supply requires a steady supply of donors who generously donate millions of units of potentially life-saving blood and blood components each year. Every two seconds, a patient needs a blood transfusion.

But in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “the number of blood donations has been dramatically reduced due to the implementation of social distancing and the cancellation of blood drives.”

In its news release, the FDA emphasized that it fully support[s] President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, which includes recommendations to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people and the need to practice good hygiene, like hand washing.

The agency said in its news release that “we also recognize that maintaining adequate levels of our nation’s blood supply is critical. People who donate blood are equivalent to those people who are working in a critical infrastructure industry. In volunteering to do so, they are contributing immeasurably to the public health of our nation. In order to ensure that blood is available to those who need it most, it is important for healthy individuals who are able to donate to take the time to do so.”

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The news release said that blood donation centers can “facilitate the safe donation of blood because they are skilled in infection control practices and already have procedures in place to prevent the spread of infections.” Additionally, the FDA said that blood donation centers are “now taking additional social distancing precautions wherever possible.”

Maintaining an adequate blood supply is critical.

The agency provided a list of centers that are taking blood donations:

Those interested in donating blood may contact the following organizations to find a local blood collection site and to schedule an appointment: AABB, America’s Blood Centers, American Red Cross, the Armed Services Blood Program and Blood Centers of America.

Courtesy of the FDA. For more information on health and consumer issues, visit the agency’s website.

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