The San Diego Blood Bank issued the following announcement this week:
School closures and work-from-home policies have resulted in cancelled blood drives. San Diego Blood Bank collects more than half of its blood supply on bloodmobiles. An additional strain on the blood supply is expected in the coming weeks. See all coronavirus-related travel and exposure deferrals.
“The U.S. is on the verge of a serious blood shortage that will lead to blood rationing and triage. We need healthy people to come out to donate immediately,” said David Wellis, CEO, San Diego Blood Bank. “Supplies are dropping to critical levels. We are confident the San Diego community will rally around this urgent need.”
It is important to note:
• Donor safety measures are in place: SDBB has been in close communication with San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency, and they are advising SDBB on proper protocols amid coronavirus mandates. Surfaces are being cleaned between donations and donors are being screened upon arrival.
• Locations are convenient. San Diego Blood Bank has six donor centers and will be posting active blood drives for the following day on social media. Appointments are encouraged so we can ensure proper staffing at locations. Walk-ins are welcome.
• Please see travel and exposure restrictions related to coronavirus.
• There is no research evidence that donating blood impacts your ability to fight infection later. While white blood cells needed to fight infection slightly decrease for a short time after donation, abundant cells remain in the event of an infection. Furthermore, donated cells are regenerated post-donation.
• Individuals are not at risk of contracting COVID-19 by receiving donated blood. Respiratory viruses are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported or suspected cases of transfusion transmission of this virus.
“It’s safe to donate blood,” said Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D., assistant secretary of health. “Part of preparedness includes a robust blood supply. Healthy individuals should schedule an appointment to donate today to ensure that blood is available for patients who need it.”
According to Doug Morton, COO, San Diego Blood Bank, “It’s important to note that blood collection activities are not ‘mass gatherings,’ rather they are controlled blood drives conducted using appropriate infection control mechanisms intended to assure the safety of the products, donors and staff. San Diego Blood Bank is highly regulated and is following best practices, such as properly cleaning surfaces between donation.”
All blood types are needed and people who have never donated before are encouraged to donate. To make an appointment, visit www.sandiegobloodbank.org/GiveLife or call (619) 400-8251. Donors must be 17 years or older, weigh a minimum of 114 pounds and be in general good health.