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Blood drives canceled and donation numbers down: How coronavirus affects blood supply

Healthy people who are feeling well are encouraged to give blood.
A medical professional drawing blood from a patient. (Photo: dontree_m/Thinkstock)

The Greater Phoenix Chapter of the American Red Cross has asked those who are healthy and feeling well to donate blood as supply is low because of canceled blood drives due to the coronavirus.  

The American Red Cross is reporting more than 1,500 blood drives have been canceled in recent weeks due to COVID19. This has resulted in 46,000 fewer blood donations. 

"Cold and flu season has already impacted the nation’s ability to maintain its blood products supply," according to a statement from the Red Cross. 

As the number of coronavirus cases increases the number of people able to give blood decreases further, according to the Red Cross. 

The Greater Phoenix Chapter will have a donation drive from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday. 

Red Cross employees will take extra precautions during upcoming blood drives. 

  • Wearing gloves and changing them often
  • Wiping down donor-touched areas after every collection
  • Using sterile collection sets for every donation
  • Preparing the arm for donation with aseptic scrub
  • Conducting donor mini-physicals to ensure donors are healthy and well on day of donation 

For more information go to www.redcrossblood.org

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