Coronavirus: No Need To Skip The Blood Drive

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 4:15pm
Updated: Friday, March 6, 2020 - 1:43pm
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Coronavirus-related fears could make some people hesitate to donate or receive blood. But those concerns are unfounded and could worsen current shortages.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports no cases of coronavirus transmission through blood.

That’s as expected, as other respiratory coronaviruses like SARS and MERS also are not known to spread via transfusion.

Dr. Ralph Vassallo, chief science and medical officer of blood collector Vitalant, says people depend on those blood stocks for emergency surgeries, cancer therapies and other treatments.

“We would advise people to take prudent measures and come in and keep their appointment so that the blood supply is there when people need it,” he said.

Vassallo says staff follow rigorous safety and disinfection protocols, and reject donors with fevers or travel histories to countries with sustained disease transmission.

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