Blood services increase drives after nationwide shortage due to COVID-19
COVID-19 has caused a major blood shortage across the United States, causing organizations like Vitalant to hold blood drives every week. John Pace, Vitalant’s Donor Recruitment Representative, says COVID-19 and the shutdown of schools have caused a dent in donations. Blood donations are down during the holidays, but now it’s coinciding with COVID-19.
“Because of COVID and the shutdown of our schools, which is our primary source of blood in the fall, pushing electives later and now we’re having another spike of COVID, the need has increased.”
Typically, East Mississippi counties and West Alabama area use 1,200 to 1,400 pints of blood per month. Pace says due to COVID-19, they’re getting less than half of that.
“We roughly generate 600 or about half of that in a given. My job before the COVID hit was to try to close that gap. You can only imagine, we’re only getting about 30% and as we go into the holidays, people are too busy to give.”
Pace wants those who previously had COVID-19 to remember their plasma is still needed to help current people with the virus.
“You have to register in advance, you can’t do it on the day of the drive. We’ll know that a COVID donor is coming in and you can donate the plasma that’s used to treat the sickest of those with COVID.”
If you’re interested in donating blood, it usually takes less than an hour. Visit vitalant.org for more on upcoming blood drives.