The New York Blood Center is in urgent need of donors to replenish the region’s blood supplies as people are working from and staying at home amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The blood center issued a call for healthy blood and platelet donors, saying that 75 percent of donations come from drives hosted by schools, organizations and businesses.
“NYBC is seeing a growing number of cancelled blood drives for the month of March. These cancellations pose a significant threat to the blood supply,” the city-based blood bank said in a statement.
“Blood is a critical component of emergency preparedness because blood is perishable, and the supply must be constantly replenished. The blood that’s on the shelf today is the blood that will save lives in an emergency,” it added.
Blood center CEO Dr. Christopher Hillyer said “every donation at every blood drive is critical.”
“As healthy, eligible donors, we have a responsibility to our neighbors to keep the blood supply safe and robust. A resilient healthcare system is more important than ever and we’re counting on everyone to help maintain that,” he said in a statement.
In anticipation of cancellations of drives, the blood center is seeking to double the blood reserves now so it can prevent shortages.
The NYBC stressed that donating blood is safe.
“Staff are trained in universal precautions to help prevent the risk of spreading infectious agents. They are also regularly cleaning public surfaces,” it said.
“As always, people are not eligible to donate if they’re experiencing a cold, sore throat, respiratory infection or flu-like symptoms.”