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CORONAVIRUS FEARS PUT LOCAL BLOOD SUPPLY AT RISK

March 11, 2020

DAYTON, Ohio - Community Blood Center is facing blood drive cancellations out of fear of the coronavirus outbreak and is calling on donors to help prevent a blood shortage by continuing to donate.

At this time a growing number of sponsors have cancelled CBC blood drives or changed locations citing temporary measures to guard against the coronavirus. There is not a current blood shortage in CBC's 15-county region of western Ohio and eastern Indiana, but CBC warns supply could change dramatically.

"We are facing a serious challenge to our local blood supply," said CBC Chief Operating Officer Jodi Minneman "As coronavirus fears intensify and more blood drives cancel, we risk a significant decrease in donations.

"Our blood supply is safe, and it is safe to donate. The coronavirus does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives. People must continue to donate. We ask that you please make appointments to donate and keep them."

Donors are urged to make an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.

Minneman said CBC must constantly replenish the blood supply to its regional hospitals. Red blood cells commonly used in emergencies and surgeries have only a 42-day shelf life.  Platelet cells used for clotting wounds and treating cancer patients have only a three-day shelf life after testing.

CBC is emphasizing and enforcing its fundamental procedures to protect donors, staff, and the blood supply:

  • Donors must be in good health to be eligible to donate. People with any cough or cold symptoms should not come to a blood drive.

  • According to the FDA there have been no reported cases of coronavirus transmission through blood transfusion in this outbreak or any recent outbreaks.

  • To operate with an abundance of caution CBC is increasing hygienic and sanitary procedures.

While blood drives may bring together groups of people, they are not mass gatherings. They are controlled events using appropriate infection control mechanisms to assure the safety of the donors, staff, and blood products.

As more cases of coronavirus have been reported in the region, CBC is increasing its preparedness appropriately. CBC will continue to monitor the outbreak and will provide additional updates as blood needs change.