Make no mistake, we are in a war against the deadly coronavirus, and like in any war, the outbreak is causing a lot of “collateral damage.” Of course there is the economic fallout, but now the FDA is saying the corona crisis may present another threat to public health – an impending blood shortage.
Even though the president and other government officials are right now advising people to “shelter in place,” fearing a potential national shortage due to the coronavirus, the Food and Drug Administration is asking people to go out and do one essential thing – donate blood.
“Last week, the blood supply and the number of donors coming in just hit rock bottom,” stated Blood Services President Vicki Finson. “So, we got very active, reminding people about the fact that the need was still there.”
FDA officials have announced a significant decline in donations over the last week, which has limited the nation’s blood supply.
“At most times, we have about a four-day supply,” Finson explained. “Last week, we dipped down to less than a one-day supply.”
According to the American Red Cross, approximately 600 blood drives across the country have been canceled. Blood banks are now lacking nearly 18,000 donations, which could lead to future surgery cancellations.
“We have to do this or, truly, patients will go without,” emphasized Finson. “Someone who needs a blood transfusion critically and doesn’t get it might die.”
The FDA reiterated there have been “no reported cases of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus.” They urged anyone who’s healthy to donate.