Red Cross asking for donations to combat coronavirus-related blood shortages

The American Red Cross is urging people to donate blood to combat any potential shortages caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Red Cross said that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread through blood, but out of an abundance of caution, it is asking people who have traveled to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, Italy or South Korea not to donate until 28 days after they return to the states. 

The organization also asks people wait 28 days to donate if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or come in contact with someone with the virus or who is suspected to have it. 

The Red Cross is asking that healthy, eligible people who are feeling well donate blood or platelets to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and prevent shortages. 

"As fears of coronavirus rise, low donor participation could harm blood availability at hospitals, and the last thing a patient should worry about is whether lifesaving blood will be on the shelf when they need it most," Chris Hrouda, president of the Red Cross Blood Services, told CBS 19.

Read the full news release here


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