American Red Cross faces blood shortage amid coronavirus outbreak

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – American Red Cross is in need of blood donations amid the coronavirus outbreak.

American Red Cross blood drives are events that many have come to know.

As of late, the number of these drives has decreased as the country continues to face concerns surrounding coronavirus.

“Schools, universities, other kinds of community organizations that normally sponsor those events have had to close their doors to the public,” said Caroline Mallory, American Red Cross volunteer.

The lack of organizations to host blood drives is now impacting American Red Cross’ supply.

“We have a significantly greater shortage of blood now than we’ve had in recent time,” Mallory said.

While their may be a shortage of blood Mallory says there is no shortage in people who need the resource, and that’s why the organization is encouraging the community to donate if possible.

“Just because we are having an epidemic doesn’t mean that people don’t get in car accidents, don’t still have cancer, don’t have other kinds of injuries that require a blood transfusion,” Mallory said.

Mallory says she understands there may be concerns with donating blood because of coronavirus, but American Red Cross has taken steps to make sure blood is being donated with safety in mind.

“We test people coming in. We’re checking them for fever, any symptoms of any kind of infectious disease and if people have those, they simply won’t be allowed to enter the donation site,” Mallory said.

Mallory says it’s hard to say at this time what will happen if donations do not increase, but she also says more donations could be the difference between doctors choosing who will and will not receive blood when they need it.

To find out ways you can help visit: www.redcross.org

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