Local blood centers asking the public to keep donating blood

Posted at 5:25 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 22:03:08-04

WISCONSIN — Versiti Blood Center is asking the public to keep their blood donation appointments or make one, to keep blood supplies up.

According to the blood center, many people have canceled their blood donation appointments or blood drives have been canceled.

This has a significant effect on blood supply. According to a press release, "if the outbreak of coronavirus expands, travel-based restrictions could potentially reduce the number of eligible donors and measures suggested to reduce exposure to other people could disrupt community blood drives and donations at centers."

Bobbi Bechtel decided to donate blood Wednesday at the Versiti Blood Center in downtown Milwaukee.

"I heard about the need," Bechtel said. "If nobody donates, how is that going to help anybody? I am healthy. If you are healthy, you should try and do what you can. They're very careful. They take your temperature multiple times. They make you wash your hands before entering. They go through a detailed questionnaire with you. There is more space between beds, and they thoroughly wash down everything when a donor is done."
Hospitals are in dire need of blood. Many only have a few days worth of some types.

Over the past week, there’s been a steep drop in donations.

The schools, businesses and churches that usually host blood drives have closed.

More than 83 drives have been cancelled in Wisconsin. That’s the equivalent of about 3,000 blood donations.

Doctors say despite the threat of coronavirus, there are cancer patients, trauma/emergency surgery patients, and many others who rely on blood donations to survive.

It is important to note that blood donation does not put you at risk of contracting COVID-19.

The press release states, "donors and our blood drive sponsors should be reassured that attending organized blood drives is safe. Coronavirus is currently not known to infect patients through blood transfusions."

Click here to sign-up to donate.

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