Blood banks want to remind people donating is safe

News

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — The Central California Blood Center wants to remind people that donating blood is completely safe amid COVID-19 concerns.

There’s less than the typical amount of donors you would see on a Saturday giving blood at the Central Californa Blood Center on Herndon and Blythe Avenues.

Ersilia Lacaze with the Central California Blood Center says that’s because people are worried about the novel coronavirus.

“Everybody’s wanting to stay home, there’s a lot of fear associated with the spread of the virus and so they’re not coming in to donate, “Lacaze said.

Lacaze says it’s difficult enough trying to recruit donors. And the fear of coronavirus she says is not helping. Several of their blood drives have been canceled.

“What that’s doing is it’s actually putting us in a very compromising position because what’s going to happen is we’re going to have a very severe blood shortage,” Lacaze said.

Lacaze says it’s important to donate now more than ever. And she says it’s perfectly safe during this pandemic time.

“The reason for, coronavirus is a respiratory disease so it’s not transmitted through blood transfusion and it can’t be transmitted just because you donated blood,” Lacaze said.

On average in the Valley alone Lacaze says they have to collect 5,000 units of blood just to support the hospitals that they service.

She says while many might fear to be around others, their donor centers are safe and spacious.

“All of our blood collection activities are not considered mass gatherings and they’re always in a very controlled and clean environment for the obvious reasons and so we feel confident encouraging folks to come out and donate because although we all want to be careful and certainly keep our social distancing and be aware of those recommendations, I think this is one of those occasions where coming out to donate is just too critical to ignore,” Lacaze said.

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