CBCO urges donors to give blood during coronavirus outbreak

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), the exclusive provider of blood and plasma to patients at more than 40 area healthcare facilities, is urging healthy individuals to continue to donate blood at an upcoming CBCO donor center or blood drive in the region. Maintaining an adequate blood supply is a healthcare imperative and healthy individuals should donate to minimize potential disruptions.

As of March 24, 2020, CBCO has lost more than 3,000 donations of blood scheduled for March and April 2020 due to the coronavirus situation. Considering the fact that we need 200 donations each day to meet the needs of your local hospitals, this is a huge loss. We need local donors to continue to provider for local patients. (A list of canceled blood drives, updated each weekday, is below.)

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Springfield’s mayor issued a stay-at-home order. It is important to note that blood donors and blood center employees are exempt from this order. The full text of the order is available HERE. Local patients still need you, donors!

If you’re donating blood, platelets, or plasma with anyone in the area besides Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, you’re potentially putting local patients at risk. We are the exclusive provider to all area hospitals, including children’s and veterans hospitals.

Is it safe to donate blood?

Yes, it is safe to donate blood. There have been no cases of anyone being infected with coronavirus through donate blood or receiving donated blood.

CBCO takes safety precautions each day as required by the FDA, but additional procedures have been put into place due to the coronavirus situation, including:

  • Sanitation stations set up at each blood drive including hand sanitizer and plastic gloves.
  • Encouraging non-donating spouses or children who accompany a donor NOT to enter the donor room with the donor.
  • Spacing donor beds farther apart.
  • Sanitizing squeezies and wiping down donor beds between donors.
  • Encouraging donors to make appointments so that we may control the flow of donors at our facilities, keeping the number of individuals low.
  • Reminding donors to use our Donor QuickPass online before arriving at a blood drive. This allows donors to complete registration and health history using a smartphone, tablet, or computer, and keeps donors from needing to touch CBCO tablets to complete this information.
  • As always, please do not attempt to donate blood unless you are feeling well and healthy. If you donate and begin to feel unwell afterwards, please follow the directions on the paperwork you are given at the blood drive and call us.

“Many people are thinking about the coronavirus outbreak and how it may affect their day to day activities in the future,” CBCO Executive Director Anthony Roberts said. “But the fact is that the coronavirus is not known to be transmitted by blood donation or transfusion. Any negative impact that the virus could have would be by people deciding not to keep their regular donation habits intact. Blood is a critical component of our area healthcare system. It’s also a perishable product, meaning that it must be replenished at regular intervals. We’re asking healthy people to give in the same way they always have. It’s important to know that blood donation remains a safe activity that has a real, positive impact on people’s lives.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports no cases of coronavirus transmission through blood, similar to other respiratory coronaviruses like SARS and MERS which also are not known to spread via transfusion.

Find out more information from America’s Blood Centers and AABB at this link: http://www.aabb.org/press/Pages/pr200304.aspx

To find the location/hours of one of our donor centers in Springfield, MO, Joplin, MO, Bentonville, AR, or Springdale, AR, please click HERE.

To find a mobile blood drive in your city, please click HERE. Or to find a mobile blood drive in your county, click HERE.

Stay current on blood drives that must cancel due to school closings, etc., by following us on social media. Click on the name of a social media platform to be directed to our pages:

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