American Red Cross urgently requests donations; blood supply critically low

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The American Red Cross is putting out an urgent request for blood donations after announcing that blood supplies are critically low.

“Right now, I think it’s extra important for people to come out and donate if they can,” says blood donor Jennifer Mannheim.

The shortage is due to the cancellation of blood drives around the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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“We’ve lost about 170,000 units across the country,” says American Red Cross New Jersey CEO Rosie Taravella.

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Taravella says that the shortage presents an even great impact on those who have cancer or who suffer a serious injury.

“Imagine you get to the hospital, there’s a bed for you and there no blood on the shelf to help treat you,” she says.

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Red Cross officials say that there is no need to worry about the virus exposure if one does decide to donate because there are health screenings.

“Everybody who sets foot in this area has to have their temperatures taken before they come in,” Taravella says. “Our staff is following all safety protocols.”

Taravella also says that there is not any evidence that blood transfusions can carry COVID-19.

The Red Cross is asking anyone interested in donating to go online first to check out the safety precautions and other information needed before giving blood.

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