ZANESVILLE, Ohio – The American Red Cross says that the nation is experiencing a blood shortage in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Senior Account Manager for the Red Cross Central Ohio Region Lori Gaitten says while blood drives are being canceled, life-saving procedures are still being performed everyday.
In about one week, Gaitten says 13 blood drives were canceled.
“The thing is while the Coronavirus patients don’t need it, there’s still the cancer patients, there’s still the mothers giving birth with complications. There’s still open heart surgeries going on. So that blood still needs to be there. We have a young man in our area that was just recently diagnosed with cancer and in his first week of chemo he had to have a blood transfusion and that’s just his first week and this is just one little boy.”
She says they’re taking extra precautions including implementing social distancing and taking temperatures of everyone. Anyone with a temperature of 99.5 degrees and above will be sent home.
“We are seeing mass cancellations like we’ve never seen before. As of Friday, We’ve had over 200 cancellations resulting in a loss of over 6,000 uncollected units of blood and that’s just here in Ohio. // edit // Based on the current situation and what we are — just before I came here today, as a Red Cross staff, I had to take my temperature before I left home to make sure I was not running a temperature before I come into the public to interact with people. And the same thing is happening with our blood drive staff.”
Gaitten says to check the American Red Cross website for the latest information on blood drives in your area.