Updated March 23, 2020 2:30 p.m.
Blood donation centers remain open during Ohio's statewide stay-at-home order. Ohioans are permitted to go to donation sites.
Hoxworth confirms all of its donation centers remain open as of March 23, however buses are no longer going out.
Community Blood Center reports its donation center "is operating on its normal schedule and all CBC blood drives will take place on schedule."
People are encouraged to schedule appointments to maintain safety procedures.
With blood drives across the region and country being canceled due to coronavirus, Tri-State blood centers are calling on healthy people to schedule appointments to donate.
"We need people to start turning out in force to give blood," Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said March 12.
Blood donors are especially critical in order to keep levels high enough to sustain surgeries and keep the nation's supply secure. Donors should be in good health. If you have a cough or other symptoms of any illness you should not attempt to donate or go to a donation center.
All blood centers, including Hoxworth and Community Blood Center (CBC), are regulated by the FDA to ensure a safe supply and safety for donors.
Scientists are still learning about the disease, but coronavirus is not known to be transmitted through blood transfusions, confirm Hoxworth and Community Blood Center officials.
"In the last couple decades of coronavirus incidents there have not been any recorded cases of coronavirus or that type of virus being transmitted through transfusion," says Mark Pompilio, public relations and marketing manager with Community Blood Center.
"The coronavirus is not transmissible by transfusion," says Alecia Lipton, public information officer with Hoxworth. "We are not seeing any transfused blood that would go to a patient affecting them if by some chance a donor would be carrying the virus but not be symptomatic."
A person may donate whole blood every 56 days.
Hoxworth's donor buses are still going out into the community to take donations and certain donor centers remain open. The center reports it needs "400 units of blood and 40 units of platelets every day."
Lipton tells WVXU more than 2700 blood drives nationwide have been canceled, resulting in nearly 90,000 fewer blood donations during the week ending March 14. Hoxworth projects to lose 1,800 donations in March, she estimates.
Hoxworth is taking precautions, Lipton says. "We are practicing social distancing in our donor centers, we're separating people out by chairs." Gloves are changed with every donor and donors will notice that employees are wearing masks. Donors will go through screening and have their temperature taken, though potential donors are encouraged to do this before they come in as well.
"Hoxworth and other blood centers across the United States desperately need to recoup these lost donations that will be needed for traumas and patients with cancer," says Lipton. "There is no artificial substitute for blood, and we are asking all healthy individuals to donate now so that we can be prepared for anything over the next several weeks."
The below donor centers will be be open and accept donors from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.:
- Hoxworth Anderson, 7715 Five Mile Road
- Hoxworth Blue Ash, 9708 Kenwood Road
- Hoxworth North, 7844 Kingland Drive
- Hoxworth Tri-County, 11812 Springfield Pike/Route 4
- Hoxworth West, 6323 Glenway Avenue
Potential donors may schedule a donation time at www.hoxworth.org or call (513) 451-0910.
Community Blood Center
CBC estimates it needs about 300 donors per day to maintain its supply. People should pay attention to any symptoms of cough, cold or flu and stay away if you're not fully healthy.
Weekend collections were strong, helping to maintain hospital inventory, Pompilio says. However, he says, collections need to continue in order to keep inventory levels sufficient.
"We encourage appointments," says Pompilio. "That way we don't have people waiting around. You can come to your appointment and in a reasonable amount of time be in and out. That way we can reduce the crowd size."
"There are no reported cases of coronavirus transmission through blood transfusion," the agency stated last week, adding it was "increasing hygienic and sanitary procedures."
To make an appointment at CBC, visit www.DonorTime.com or call (937) 461-3220.