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HomeNewsWinter Weather, COVID-19 Omicron Variant effects Blood Drives, Supply

Winter Weather, COVID-19 Omicron Variant effects Blood Drives, Supply

Blood AssuranceNashville, TN – During the first week of National Blood Donor Month, Blood Assurance is experiencing a sharp increase in cancellations due to the COVID-19 omicron variant and winter weather.

Since January 1st, more than 40 businesses and organizations have reconsidered holding their planned mobile blood drives. As a result, nearly 700 units of blood that would have been used to treat patients at dozens of hospitals, are no longer available.

As of Wednesday morning, there was less than a three-day supply of O-positive, A-positive, A-negative, and B-negative blood in the Blood Assurance service area. There are concerns that Thursday’s winter weather could detrimentally impact the supply even more.
“The need for blood never stops,” according to Christopher Swafford, Blood Assurance’s chief operating officer. “Winter weather will impact road conditions, which could lead to increased blood usage due to traffic crashes and other traumas. We want to ensure that hospitals in this area have what they need to deal with any situation.”

Cancellations and blood donor no-shows are also occurring due to the rise in COVID-19 Coronavirus cases. Those worried about donating blood during the pandemic should know that the blood supply remains safe from COVID-19 Coronavirus.

There is no evidence that COVID-19 Coronavirus can be transmitted through blood, according to America’s Blood Centers. In addition, the FDA explicitly allows donors who have received an authorized COVID-19 Coronavirus vaccine to donate blood, provided they are healthy and meet all other eligibility criteria for blood donation. Unvaccinated donors may also give.

To encourage people to donate lifesaving blood, Blood Assurance is giving away a $20.00 Amazon gift card every day until January 9th to all Type-O donors who donate double red cells at any Blood Assurance brick-and-mortar facility or mobile blood drive. O donors who give whole blood will receive a $10.00 Amazon card.

Donors can schedule an appointment online at bloodassurance.org/schedule, or by calling 800.962.0628, or texting BAGIVE to 999777. Walk-ins will be accepted.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more, and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.

About Blood Assurance

Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving more than 70 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

Founded in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Area Hospital Council, and the Chattanooga Jaycees, the mission of Blood Assurance is to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need.


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