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Blood donations needed, Michigan's supply at high risk

Posted at 10:36 AM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 10:40:58-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Donating blood is always a life saving act, but according to Versiti Blood Center of Michigan donations are even more important now amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Michigan's blood supply is currently at high risk due to residents’ concerns about the spread of coronavirus, or Covid-19.

The appointment cancellations have resulted in the loss of more than 2,258 units of blood lost, according to Versiti Blood Center of Michigan.

However officials with Versiti Blood want you to know giving blood is safe, and poses no risk of infecting donors with Covid-19.

"Donating blood is safe right now. We are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our donors, our staff and the blood supply," said Dawn Kaiser, Versiti's vice president and director of donor services.

Versiti Blood collection sites are taking extra cleaning and social distancing measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Collection sites have also been rearranged on the inside to ensure social distancing recommendations by the state.

"By practicing social distancing six feet apart, by cleaning all the supplies, all the materials, everything that a donor touches," said Kaiser. "We are also between donors, taking the temperatures and asking for symptoms prior to any donor even entering our collection area. We're doing the same thing for our staff. This way we can ensure that we have healthy donors and healthy staff at the collection activity."

Most precautions will take place outside of the center before potential donors even walk through the door.

It's important to note that nobody should donate blood if they've experienced any symptoms of being sick. If one has experienced symptoms, collection site employees will deny your donation and ask you to leave.

"We do turn donors away who have exhibited any of the symptoms. We're also asking them about international travel," said Kaiser.

If you would like to make a blood donation do not expect to be able to walk in. Collection sites are recommending making an appointment to ensure social distancing within the collection center.

For more information on making an appointment, click here.