Nov. 2, 2020 – Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. That blood can only come from healthy, volunteer donors. As new coronavirus cases surge and influenza activity picks up, Vitalant urges healthy people to make an appointment now to give blood or platelets to maintain the fragile blood supply for patients in need.
Blood and platelet donations often drop during the holiday months as fewer donors are available because of seasonal activities and illnesses, but this year the outlook is particularly worrisome. With many schools transitioned to virtual learning and businesses in work-from-home situations, about 1,600 Vitalant blood drives have already been canceled for November and December. Additional donors—including those who have never given before—are needed to turn out at donation centers and available community blood drives.
Giving Blood is an Essential Activity
The U.S. Surgeon General and Federal Emergency Management Agency designated blood donation as an essential activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. All Vitalant donation centers and blood drives continue to deploy precautionary measures to ensure the safety of donors, patients and staff, including:
All Blood Donations are Tested for COVID-19 Antibodies
- Taking donors' temperatures upon check-in (staff self-monitor their temperatures)
- Requiring face masks or cloth-based face coverings (donors and staff)
- Disinfecting donor-touched and other high-touch areas often and after every donation
- Ensuring social distancing to keep donors and staff safe
Vitalant continues to test blood and platelet donations for COVID-19 antibodies to find potential donors who could give convalescent plasma in the future. Donors whose blood tests positive for antibodies can help a COVID-19 patient with their plasma while their other blood components could help a cancer patient, trauma victim or someone with another serious medical condition. Testing positive for antibodies also puts donors on a unique track to donate convalescent plasma regularly – and join others as part of the COVID Rescue Team
– to help even more COVID-19 patients.
How to Donate Blood
To learn more and schedule an appointment to give, please visit vitalant.org
or call 877-25-VITAL