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Red Cross Seeks Blood Donations

Photo by: 
U.S. Army Reserve/Staff Sgt. David Clemenko
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Facing what it calls a “severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations,” the American Red Cross is asking healthy people to consider giving critically needed blood.

Blood shortages are a fallout from the coronavirus outbreak that has led many businesses to close or greatly reduce operations.

“Donating blood is a safe process, and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood,” the Red Cross says in a statement. “Eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment to give soon.”

This link will help you locate by ZIP code a place where you can donate blood: https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/how-to-donate/how-blood-donations-help.html

Red Cross officials caution that not everyone should give blood. “Please postpone your donation for 28 days following travel to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Iran, Italy and South Korea, or if you’ve been diagnosed with or have had contact with anyone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19,” they said.

The American Red Cross supports the Armed Services strategic blood reserves and the Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Health Service.

There are many Armed Services Blood Program donation centers in the U.S., Germany and Guam. Locations include Fort Benning, Fort Bliss, Fort Bragg, Fort Gordon, Fort Hood, Fort Leonard Wood and Fort Sam Houston, plus Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the Pentagon, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii.

To donate, you must be 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, be well hydrated and have eaten something before donating blood, and have been feeling well for three days. Additional restrictions may also apply based on recent travel, especially to any area where the coronavirus has spread.