The central Ohio chapter of the American Red Cross reports a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during the coronavirus outbreak.
Spokesperson Rodney Wilson says 435 blood drives have been cancelled as business and schools have closed, resulting in 12-thousand fewer units of blood collected in central Ohio alone:
"So the numbers are quite staggering. But patients are still in the hospitals, getting cancer treatments, having babies, people who’ve been in car accidents – they will still need blood. And not enough people are giving to meet this need."
Wilson says the Red Cross is taking additional precautions for donors and staff:
"Our staff are actually checking the temperature of everyone before they enter the blood drive, that includes our own staff and volunteers in addition to blood donors. We’re wiping down every donor touch point between donors, using hand sanitizer throughout the process. And we’ve even implemented social distancing so that our blood donation beds and the health history stations are adequately spaced apart."
Those who want to donate may contact the Red Cross online, or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.