State blood supplies now critically low

blood donations
Over 200 state blood drives and nearly 8,000 scheduled donations have been cancelled in this month due to the COVID-19 health scare. Supplies are now critically low in Tennessee. {File Photo}

STATE NEWS — The American Red Cross reports that the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to another trickle-down, healthcare crisis … low blood supplies. According to the Red Cross, groups cancelled over 200 blood drives and nearly 8,000 scheduled donation in the past month leading to dangerously low local blood supplies.

Unlike toilet paper, blood can’t be stockpiled. Donations usually expire after 42 days. Without current donations, area blood banks might not have the supplies they need for trauma and cancer patients. The fact that many typical blood drive hosts – college campuses, schools, and churches – have closed is also affecting Tennessee’s blood supply.

Red Cross officials are quick to remind citizens willing to make a blood donations that the activity is considered essential under most Safer at Home orders. According to the FDA, blood and blood components are not known COVID-19 transmitters and there have been no known cases of transfusion-transmitted COVID-19 illness.

There is a Tullahoma Community Red Cross Blood Drive at 2211 North Jackson Street today from 12 to 5 p.m. and second at Traders Bank on Tuesday, April 14 from 2-6 p.m. Blood Assurance will also host a drive at Trinity Episcopal Church in Winchester on April 3 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Click here to find more Red Cross Blood Drives and click here for Blood Assurance details. •

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