WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (March 19, 2020) — The American Red Cross South Florida Region is partnering with OneBlood to support the need of blood donations and prevent blood shortages due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Over the past week, blood centers throughout the country are experiencing a rapid cancelation of blood drives, which is limiting the ability for the nation’s blood supply to be adequately replenished. The Red Cross has witnessed nearly 4,500 of its blood drives cancel across the country due to concerns about congregating at workplaces, college campuses and schools amidst the coronavirus outbreak. These cancellations have resulted in 150,000 fewer blood donations. Also, OneBlood has now had more than 1900 blood drive cancelations throughout its service area, accounting for more 30,000 fewer donations. We anticipate the number of cancelations will continue to climb.
In Florida, the Red Cross does not collect blood but the need for it is growing at an alarming rate. The Red Cross has partnered with OneBlood to stress the need for eligible blood donors and encourage the public to give blood to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and prevent shortages in Florida.
Cold and flu season has already impacted the nation’s ability to maintain its blood supply. As the number of COVID-19 cases grows in the U.S., the number of people eligible to give blood for patients in need could decrease further.
“The need for blood is constant. Blood drive cancellations like the number we have been witnessing can impact cancer patients and car crash victims,” says Joanne Nowlin, CEO for the South Florida Region. “We, the Red Cross, do not collect blood in South Florida but we are grateful to establish a partnership with OneBlood to encourage individuals to help people in need and donate blood today.”
“The rate at which blood drives are being canceled is unprecedented and will impact OneBlood’s operations for months to come. To prevent a critical blood supply issue from occurring, it is important that people make blood donation a habit and donate every time they are eligible”, said Susan Forbes, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for OneBlood.
Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. There are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transfusion transmission for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus worldwide.
Become a hero in your community by making an appointment and donating blood. Visit oneblood.org to get started.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/southflorida and visit us on Facebook and Twitter at @SFLRedCross.
OneBlood is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) community asset responsible for providing safe, available and affordable blood to more than 250 hospital partners and their patients throughout Florida and into areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. OneBlood distributes more than one million blood products annually, operates nearly 90 donor centers and deploys close to 200 of its signature Big Red Buses throughout its service area for blood drives. To learn more about OneBlood please visit www.oneblood.org.
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