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As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in the United States, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center wants to make sure donors have the facts.

Healthy people must regularly donate to minimize disruptions to the blood supply and ensure blood is available for patients. Since it is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives, maintaining a sufficient blood supply is essential to ensure patients in need to receive treatment. If you are feeling healthy and well, we strongly encourage you to schedule and keep blood donations regularly to help patients in our local hospitals.

 

You’re not donating blood — you’re giving more time, more smiles, and more hugs. You’re giving life. 

Do you follow us on social media? Find us @commitforlife and show support by sharing your donation story using #CommitForLife.  

If you are feeling healthy and well but still have questions about donating, please contact our Donor Advocates at cs@giveblood.org or (713) 791-6608.

 

Schedule your donation today

 

 

FACT: No cases of coronavirus or flu virus have been linked to blood exposure. Instead, we protect ourselves and our donors by maintaining clean hands, wearing gloves, cleaning work surfaces, and covering coughs and sneezes.

The coronavirus does not pose any risk to blood donors, either during the donation process or while attending organized blood drives. Given this information, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not recommended blood centers take any additional action at this time.

The AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism, in coordination with the country’s blood collection establishments, has been monitoring the evolving public health situation and preparing for potential further spread. Brian Gannon, President, and CEO at The Blood Center chairs this task force. The Blood Center’s staff makes safety a top priority, emphasizing best practices by maintaining sterile equipment and prioritizing cleanliness and donor safety.

FACT: To ensure an adequate blood supply healthy, eligible donors must donate blood so that adequate blood supply can be maintained at all times. We strongly encourage all healthy donors and sponsors of blood drives to schedule appointments and keep commitments to donate blood. 

Blood has a short shelf life and must be continually replenished. Blood donors must be healthy, feeling well and free of respiratory illness symptoms to be eligible to donate. 

FACT: Routine blood donor screening measures that are already in place prevents individuals with clinical respiratory infections from donating blood. We exclude potential donors with flu by expecting that they feel healthy and well, they have a normal temperature, they are not short of breath or coughing productively. The same measures apply to those with coronavirus disease.

We ask anyone who does not feel healthy and well to wait until they have fully recovered to donate blood.

AABB, FDA, and CDC are not recommending any action by blood collection establishments at this time because there are no data or precedent suggesting the risk of transfusion transmission for COVID-19.

Fact: According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there have been no reported or suspected cases of transfusion-transmitted COVID-19.

This is not the first time we’ve seen the spread of a strain of the coronavirus disease. No cases of transfusion-transmission were ever reported for the other two coronaviruses (SARS and MERS-CoV) that emerged during the past two decades.

AABB, FDA, and CDC are not recommending any action by blood collection establishments at this time because there are no data or precedent suggesting the risk of transfusion transmission for COVID-19.

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