Red Cross calling for blood donations amid COVID-19 concerns

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The American Red Cross is facing what it calls a severe blood shortage due in part to the coronavirus pandemic.

As local and state governments take precautions to limit public gatherings across the U.S., nearly 2,700 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to concerns about congregating at workplaces, college campuses, and schools. That’s led to about 86,000 fewer blood donations than normal at this time of year. In Indiana, 129 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled.

The organization is asking for voluntary donations at their donation centers and any blood drives that are still being allowed to take place, saying employees follow strict safety protocols to prevent the spread of any type of infection.

“In our experience, the American public comes together to support those in need during times of shortage and that support is needed now more than ever during this unprecedented public health crisis,” said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Unfortunately, when people stop donating blood, it forces doctors to make hard choices about patient care, which is why we need those who are healthy and well to roll up a sleeve and give the gift of life.”

You can find your closest donation site through this link.

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