Ahead of flu season, local blood center urges donations

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INDIANAPOLIS – Right now, there’s a major need for blood donations. Demand overall hasn’t changed from years past, but because of the coronavirus, the supply is down in a big way, straining local blood banks.

Versiti Blood Center hopes Hoosiers start donating now so donors are in the habit when demand is expected to spike in the fall and winter.

This year because of COVID-19, what’s normally an already busy flu season is expected to be even worse.

And because so many blood drives were canceled, the supply took a hit. In Indiana alone, Versiti estimates over 700 blood drives were canceled and 13,000 donations were missed because of the coronavirus.

They’re asking people to roll up their sleeve now, then in eight weeks they can donate again.

“When that next emergency happens or your loved one has an unexpected surgery, making sure you get into the donation habit, donate now, then you can get another one in before the year,” said Penny Schroeder, Versiti Area Vice President and Director of Donor Services. “As we roll into the holidays, people are busy with preparing, so donations decrease even further.”

Blood donations are not screened for the coronavirus, but Versiti says there is no known transmission of the virus through blood.

Click here for more on donation locations and blood drives in Indiana.

Separately, Versiti needs recovered COVID-19 patients to donate plasma. Antibodies in the plasma of recovered patients can help treat current patients.

Click here for more on Versiti’s plasma donation program.

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