Can you believe this was the first time I ever donated blood? I know right! I am not a fan of needles so this was a pretty big deal for me. Not to mention I felt like a vampire got a hold of me for the rest of the day! Ok, so big baby stuff aside, did you know there are four different ways do donate blood? There is Plasma, Platelets, Red Cells and Whole Blood. Those different components in our blood have many uses. Platelets have a shelf life of only five days, so platelet donors are constantly needed.
While blood supply is always needed, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges to the U.S. Blood supply. According to the Statement released by the FDA on April 2, 2020 the agency issued guidance for immediate implementation to address the urgent and immediate need for blood and blood components.
“Donor centers have experienced a dramatic reduction in donations due to the implementation of social distancing and the cancellation of blood drives.
Maintaining adequate blood supply is vital to public health. Blood donors help patients of all ages – accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients and those battling cancer and other life-threatening conditions. The American Red Cross estimates that every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
People who donate blood are part of our critical infrastructure industries. More donations are needed at this time and we hope people will continue to take the time to donate blood. We have also encouraged, and continue to encourage, state and local governments to take into account the essential nature of donating blood – and that it can be done safely and consistently within social distancing guidelines – when considering travel and business restrictions, and we encourage them to communicate that to their citizens.
Please consider donating if you can. Together we can make a difference!
Here are a few links with information about donating.