American Red Cross: Blood donations from healthy people are needed amid coronavirus threat, especially Type O

Coronavirus

Courtesy: American Red Cross

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The American Red Cross says blood donations from healthy people are needed amid the coronavirus threat, especially those with Type O blood.

“The American Red Cross strongly urges healthy, eligible individuals who are feeling well to give blood or platelets to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and prevent shortages as concerns about the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, rise in the U.S.,” a press release from the American Red Cross says. “Cold and flu season has already impacted the nation’s ability to maintain its blood supply. As the number of coronavirus cases grows in the U.S., the number of people eligible to give blood for patients in need could decrease further.”

“We’re asking the American people to help keep the blood supply stable during this challenging time. As communities across the country prepare for this public health emergency, it’s critical that plans include a readily available blood supply for hospital patients,” says Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Blood Services. “As fears of coronavirus rise, low donor participation could harm blood availability at hospitals, and the last thing a patient should worry about is whether lifesaving blood will be on the shelf when they need it most.”

“Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood,” the release also says. “There are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus, including this coronavirus, from a transfusion.”

The release adds “blood donors with type O blood and platelet donors are especially needed right now.”

There will be blood drives from March 10-31 in North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Little River, Conway, Pawleys Island, Florence, Lake View, Dillon, Hartsville, Darlington, McBee and Cheraw.

Appointments to donate blood can be made on the American Red Cross’s Blood Donor App, by visiting the ARC’s website here, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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