Community Blood Center has launched a campaign to help avert a regional blood shortage as the community acts to halt the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. CBC officials say fear of the coronavirus should not keep people from donating.
Photo: STAFF/PHOTO
Photo: STAFF/PHOTO

Coronavirus outbreak causing shortage in blood donations; blood center calls for help

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Some have canceled due to the fear associated with the coronavirus outbreak, wondering if donating blood would enhance the spread of the pandemic.

“Part of our challenge in maintaining the blood supply is maintaining donor confidence,” CBC spokesman Mark Pompilio told the Dayton Daily News. “We continue to emphasize that it is safe to donate blood and the blood supply is safe.”

The CBC says that there is no evidence and no reports of COVID-19 transmission through blood transfusion and there were no reported cases of transmission through transfusion in coronavirus outbreaks in the last two decades.

Though someone who comes to a blood drive may not be showing symptoms of infection, but is a carrier of infection, and might actually donate, there is no evidence this could result in transmission of the infection through transfusion according to the CBC.

“The central worry for many blood donors and blood drive sponsors is that a blood drive may gather people together and that an infected person may come in contact with others and transmit infection,” Pompilio said. “We emphasize that no person with any cough, cold or flu symptoms should come to a blood drive.

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Strong donor support kicked off a campaign this week to help maintain the blood supply. CBC totaled 104 donors, 88 red cell donations and 12 platelet and plasma.

But the concern remained that there were 46 blood drive cancellations, resulting in 2,000 projected units lost.

“You must be in good health to donate. Blood drives are not mass gatherings,” Pompilio said. “They are controlled events with sanitary safeguards and protocols in place to protect donors, staff and blood.”

The closing of all Ohio schools has also cancelled all scheduled high school blood drives and triggered cancellations by several corporate and business blood drive sponsors.

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CBC says it needs 300 donors per day to maintain the blood supply, but now faces multiple days with no blood drive activities due to cancellations.

The Donor Strong blood drive started Monday and will go through Sunday at the CBC Dayton Donor Center, 349 South Main St. with the choice of a free Kings Island ticket or Cinemark movie ticket for everyone who registers to donate.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Make an appointment to donate at www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.

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