- Title: U.S. may see blood shortages as coronavirus cancels office blood drives
- Date: 11th March 2020
- Summary: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES (MARCH 11, 2020) (REUTERS VIA SKYPE) (SOUNDBITE) (English) BLOOD SERVICES, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, VICKI FINSON, SAYING: "And, so, I would say to people who are not in the higher risk groups, come in, donate blood. We're following all the regulations. We're also extra vigilant about our cleaning, making sure that our staff are well and healthy and good hand-washing, because we have to do this or truly patients will... will go without, and someone who needs a blood transfusion critically and doesn't get it, might die."
- Keywords: Blood Services Bloodworks Northwest U.S. blood banks Vicky Finson blood donation blood shortages cancel blood drives coronavirus
- Reuters ID: LVA006C4M0ND3
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES
- City: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, AND SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:34
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text: U.S. blood banks are concerned about potential shortages as Americans concerned about catching the new coronavirus avoid donation sites and companies with employees working from home cancel blood drives.
There have already been shortages over the past week in Washington that required other blood banks to move blood in from outside the region, according to Vicki Finson, executive vice president at Blood Services, part of Bloodworks Northwest.
Supplies in New York were also low because of blood drive cancellations.
Most blood centers try to keep an inventory of a three-day supply, according to the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB).
Coronavirus has so far sickened more than 800 in the United States and killed 28, mostly in Washington state.
Blood supply in Seattle started to dwindle at the beginning of the month, according to Bloodworks Northwest, which collects and distributes blood around the Northwest U.S.
Finson said 60% of Bloodworks Northwest's blood is from mobile blood drives, and the push to have people work from home has resulted in many being canceled.
The AABB task force sent 600 units of blood to Seattle over the weekend.
China saw sharp shortages in blood donations as quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the virus took its toll on inventories around the country.
Coronavirus is not transmissible via transfusion, according to the American Red Cross.
Still, the Red Cross and AABB said their donation centers are asking that sick people wait until they are healthy to donate in order to protect staff and other donors.
People who have recently traveled to China, Iran or Italy are also being asked to wait to donate.
In Seattle, Finson said donations picked up over the weekend, but on Tuesday, Bloodworks Northwest was around 140 short of its 1,000 donor-per-day target.
(Production: Aleksandra Michalska)
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