Blood drives cut, donations drop amid COVID-19 response

Coronavirus

GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Health care workers are urging people to donate blood as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hurt the national supply.

In Michigan, officials say more than 150 blood drives have been canceled because of a state directive limiting crowds. That’s 4,100 units of blood missing from shelves.

Versiti Blood of Michigan says its blood centers are open and the need for donations is critical.

“Right now with the blood shortages, hospitals are postponing surgeries, people when they get into accidents, we need to have them on the shelves for our donors, for our recipients. Our cancer patients need blood every day,” said Katie Camalo, team lead for Versiti Blood of Michigan.

Versiti Blood of Michigan assures donors and transfusion recipients that there is no current evidence they can contract coronavirus through the process. The organization says it’s also heightened cleaning and disinfecting procedures at all donor centers.

Potential donors must be at least 17 years old and in good health to give blood. Donors who are 16 years old need parental consent. All donors must have a photo ID that includes their birthdate.

Blood donors can make a donation by appointment or by visiting a donor center. The process takes about an hour. For a full list of places to give blood near you, visit the American Red Cross’s website at https://www.redcross.org/give-blood.html or Versiti Blood of Michigan’s website at http://www.versiti.org/Michigan.


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