As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in the United States, Mississippi Blood Services is urging individuals to make and/or keep donation appointments and organized blood drives to ensure the continued adequacy of the blood supply.
It is imperative that healthy individuals donate to minimize disruptions to the blood supply and ensure blood is available for patients. Blood products are always needed for:
• catastrophic and long-term illnesses, such as sickle cell disease and cancer.
If the outbreak of coronavirus expands, additional challenges may arise, which could potentially:
• reduced the number of eligible donors;
• disrupt blood drive collection events; and
• reduce an adequate inventory to meet hospital and patient needs.
Since it is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives, maintaining a sufficient blood supply is essential to ensure patients in need receive optimal treatment.
“The need for blood donors is always critical. It is in times of disaster or public health crises that we truly need people to understand the importance and safety in donating blood to keep the blood supply at safe levels. Blood has a short shelf life and must be continually replenished,” David Allen, President and CEO of Mississippi Blood Services, said.
“Less than 4 percent of Mississippians donate blood on a regular basis,” Allen added. “But Mississippi Blood Services must send out 230 units, or more, of blood products a day to hospitals across the state to meet the needs of patients. This is a daunting task, and we cannot do it without the generosity of our blood donors.”
Those interested in donating blood or platelets may contact Mississippi Blood Services at (601)368-2673 or at www.msblood.com to find a local collection site and to schedule an appointment. Donating blood is safe, simple and saves lives.
As more cases of coronavirus have been reported in the U.S., the blood community has been increasing its preparedness appropriately. Mississippi Blood Services will continue to monitor the ongoing spread of coronavirus and will provide additional updates if blood needs change.