The Stanford Blood Center urges those who are healthy, and who haven’t traveled to high-risk countries or been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, to donate blood.
Blood donations are urgently needed as corporate blood drives are canceled and residents shelter in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus responsible for the respiratory illness known as COVID-19.
Potential donors are exempt from the shelter-in-place order, which does not cover essential health services such as those provided by Stanford Blood Center.
“While it may seem as if the world has stopped — and indeed, in certain sectors, it has — we as a community cannot forget about hospital patients in critical need,” said Harpreet Sandhu, executive director of Stanford Blood Center, in a statement posted on the center’s website. “Even with a shelter in place in effect, individuals in our community — potentially even individuals we know personally — will continue to be in car accidents, need emergency organ transplants, give birth to babies in critical condition, and need chemotherapy. In short, there will still be lives that need saving.”
Blood centers around the country are warning of devastating shortages in all blood types if the lull in donations continues. On March 12, officials from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services urged Americans to turn out in force in a joint press release from America’s Blood Centers, the American Red Cross, the Armed Services Blood Program and AABB, formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks.