Blood Centers Report Critical Blood Shortage
The COVID 19 pandemic is already taking a toll in many ways – including blood donations. Memorial Blood Centers in Plymouth is currently experiencing a donor shortage because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“With social distancing I think people are concerned about coming in and sitting in a donor bed right next to someone else or getting on a bloodmobile where it’s kind of close quarters,” said Erica Buege, a spokesperson for Memorial Blood Centers. “We totally understand. We certainly want to keep people safe. People should take precautions.”
According to Buege, Memorial Blood Centers is trying to create a clean and safe setting, and is keeping donors spaced out from each other.
“We’re cleaning donor beds between every donor,” Buege said. “We have plenty of hand sanitizer available. So we are taking steps to make sure that social distancing can still happen while you are donating blood.”
Memorial Blood Centers is doing all this because the need for donors is real – especially in a pandemic.
“Absolutely,” Buege said. “Not only can you, but we are really urging you to, because the blood supply is very low, both locally and nationally right now due to many cancellations.”
Message is still the same: If you are sick, stay home
On the flip side, if you have COVID 19, have been tested for it, or experience any symptoms, Memorial Blood Centers wants you to stay home.
“You are only eligible to give blood if you’ve been free from any sort of cold or flu symptoms for at least three days,” Buege said. “So that is still very true and we have also implemented additional self-screening procedures for donors. If they’ve traveled to a level 3 country as defined by the CDC within 14 days, you’re not eligible to give. There are a few other self-screening policies that we’ve implemented and you can see that on our web site at mbc.org.”
Prospective donors should be in generally good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, free of antibiotics for at least 72 hours and not have any cold or flu symptoms for three days.
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