DANVILLE, Pa. – The novel coronavirus has interrupted our daily lives, including blood drives and donations across the U.S. Geisinger leadership is asking for the public’s support to address a community wide, critical blood shortage amid appointment cancellations.
“Through this national emergency, there are still surgeries, traumas, cancer treatments and life-saving care for premature infants. Our neighbors still need blood,” said Gerald Maloney, D.O., chief medical officer of Geisinger hospitals, who was among more than 100 Geisinger employees who donated blood on March 19 at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. “If you are looking for a way to contribute during this unprecedented time of need, consider donating blood. It takes only an hour, and it’s perfectly safe.”
Coronaviruses are not known to be transmitted through blood transfusion. Additionally, out of an abundance of caution surrounding the novel COVID-19, Miller-Keystone Blood Center is taking precautionary steps to keep donors safe. Here are a few facts to set your mind at ease about donating blood:
- All equipment is decontaminated between uses.
- Everything that touches the blood is disposable (including the blood bags, needles and test tubes).
- Because of appointments, blood drives and donor centers are rarely crowded
- We expect only people feeling well to give blood, so the risk of exposure at a blood drive or donor center is exceedingly low.
- The need for blood to treat cancer patients, trauma victims, premature infants, surgical patients and others is constant.
- Blood is perishable and there is no substitute — the only source is the volunteer blood donor.
Those who should not give blood at this time: If you are age 70 or older, take medicines that suppress the immune system, have underlying medical conditions, have traveled to one of the areas of major outbreak, have been exposed to anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 or are recovering from the virus, we ask that you continue to practice social distancing and not give blood at this time.
For appointments, visit www.giveapint.org or call 1-800-B-A-DONOR.
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.