COLORADO SPRINGS — One of the country’s oldest nonprofit blood service providers will miss out on 600 blood drives for the month of April.
“We’re projected to lose about 20-percent of our blood donations each week in April,” said Brooke Way, marketing and communications specialist for Vitalant.
It’s another blow to the blood supply shortage the U.S. is facing during the coronavirus crisis.
“We try to keep a four day supply on our shelves at all times. Right now, we’re at less than half of that,” Way said.
Now, Vitalant wants to remind people that donating blood is considered an essential healthcare activity.
It’s a need blood service providers have to stay on top of.
“Patients need blood on a daily basis. In our region alone, we need 450 units of blood a day to keep up with patients demands. So we can’t let it get to a point where we don’t have enough blood on our shelves to help those people who may have been involved in a trauma. People going through cancer treatment, or people who have blood disorders and rely on blood transfusion on a constant basis,” Way said.
Vitalant’s blood donation centers are taking every possible precaution, including social distancing for their staff, and for the safety of others who are hesitant to donate
“Our staff is wearing gloves, they’re asked to wash their hands or use sanitizer after every single donor. We’re disinfection and wiping down every donation chair after we very single donor,”
They’re asking everyone who donates to make sure they’re healthy.
“We are taking people’s temperatures before they walk into our donation centers, just as an extra precaution, but we ask if you’re feeling well, to donate blood. And if you are not feeling good, we ask that you wait until you know you are healthy. If you’ve been in close contact with anyone who does have coronavirus, please wait to donate blood as well,”
To make an appointment to donate blood with Vitalant, call (800) 365-0006.