SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Lifeshare Blood Center of Shreveport along with blood donation centers across the country are urging residents to “turn out in force” to give blood as the threat of COVID-19 continues to spread.
The industry is experiencing a significant drop in donations, which they attribute to coronavirus fears, limiting the ability of the nation’s blood supply to be adequately replenished.
Dr. Peter Marks, U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Director, has issued a call-to-action:
“We need people to prevent the blood supply from getting depleted. We need it not to get to the point that surgeries are having to get canceled,” Dr. Marks said. “That’s something we absolutely do not want to have happen. To ensure an adequate blood supply we need people to come out and donate blood.”
The FDA emphasizes that coronavirus does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives.
“It is safe to donate blood,” Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D. Assistant Secretary for Health said. “Part of preparedness includes a robust blood supply. Healthy individuals should schedule an appointment to donate today to ensure that blood is available for those patients who need it,” said Giroir.
Blood centers are regulated by the FDA and must follow specific guidelines to ensure safe blood is available for patients at all times.