S. C. (WSAV) – American Red Cross officials reported 7,000 blood drive cancellations across the country due to the coronavirus outbreak—creating a “severe” nationwide shortage.
The national nonprofit and disaster relief organization accounts for almost half of the nation’s blood supply—responding to “critical disaster relief situations, cancer patients, and people across the country who depend on regular transfusions. Officials said donating blood is “considered an essential service” and can still be done during a pandemic.
Although blood drives across the country are being canceled, people who are healthy and fit the necessary screening requirements can still donate by appointment. South Carolina Red Cross disaster workers provided relief for nearly 400 people just in March of 2020. The employees said they are actively preparing for hurricane season, but are worried about their “limited resources.”
“It’s totally safe to donate blood, there’s been no evidence of coronavirus being transmitted through a blood transfusion or any other respiratory virus worldwide,” Ashley Henyan, the Lowcountry Red Cross Executive Director, stated.
There are 200,000 fewer blood donations due to the pandemic and Red Cross officials said people can help if they meet the necessary health requirements and set-up an appointment. In order to meet the “critical need,” the Red Cross is asking for long-term donations over the next several months. You can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or 1-800-733-2767 to setup an appointment.
Monetary donations can also help the nonprofit offset the $150 million dollars they said were going to need in order to operate over the next few months.