Giving Blood Now More Crucial Than Ever


This quarantine has affected much more than what people originally thought, COVID-19 has majorly contributed to a critical blood shortage. Deseret News reports, “the American Red Cross has seen a staggering drop in blood donations amid social distancing measures and fears of spreading the virus.” Because of the quarantine, people are confined to their homes, causing the number of blood donations to decrease.

 Thousands of organized blood drives have been canceled, resulting in fewer blood donations than usual. The main message of the American Red Cross in this trying time is, “Severe Blood Shortage, Donors Urgently Needed. Right now, eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment to provide lifesaving blood products to patients. Please give now.” They encourage anyone healthy and eligible to go donate whenever they can so that those who need blood can still receive blood throughout this quarantine. “Healthy individuals are needed to schedule an appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead to help patients counting on lifesaving blood, platelets or AB Elite plasma throughout this pandemic.”

The quarantine also provides time for intermittently needed recuperation time, if needed, from this highly appreciated charitable donation. The U.S. Surgeon General has said, “You can still go out and give blood… Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement.” The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration have also issued statements encouraging blood donation for those who are well.

Blood donation centers are making it clear that donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give. “It’s important to note that blood drives have the highest standards of safety and infection control.” The American Red Cross states, ”We are spacing beds, where possible, to follow social distancing practices between blood donors and are looking at staggering donor appointments further apart to reduce the number of people at a drive at any one time.”

ARUP states Blood donors must be healthy and feeling well to be eligible to donate. As a safety precaution, ARUP Blood Services is currently deferring donors for 28 days if they have:

  • traveled to areas with COVID-19 outbreaks as defined by the CDC.
  • lived with an individual diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 infection, or
  • been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 infection.

It’s important to emphasize that there is no data or evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by blood transfusions, and there have been no reported cases of transfusion transmission for any respiratory virus worldwide as stated in an article by AABB, Coronavirus and Blood Donation.

Not only is donating blood a great way to get out of your house, it is also helping many people get through these trying times with some hope in their lives. Go out and donate Grizzlies. Here is a list of local donation centers:

  • American Red Cross Blood Donation Center
  • Octapharma Plasma
  • CSL Plasma
  • Biomat USA
  • Utah Cord Bank
  • BioLife Plasma Services
  • Salt Lake City Blood Services