Mississippians urged to donate blood amid coronavirus concerns

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FLOWOOD, Miss. (WJTV) – As the coronavirus spreads in the United States, Mississippi Blood Services is urging individuals to make or keep donation appointments to keep up the adequacy of the blood supply.

Blood products are always needed for surgeries, traumas and long-term illnesses, such as sickle cell disease and cancer.

If the outbreak of coronavirus expands, additional challenges may arise and could potentially:

  • reduced the number of eligible donors
  • disrupt blood drive collection events
  • reduce an adequate inventory to meet hospital and patient needs

“The need for blood donors is always critical. It is in times of disaster or public health crises that we truly need people to understand the importance and safety in donating blood to keep the blood supply at safe levels. Blood has a short shelf life and must be continually replenished,” David Allen, President and CEO of Mississippi Blood Services, said.

“Less than 4 percent of Mississippians donate blood on a regular basis,” Allen added. “But Mississippi Blood Services must send out 230 units, or more, of blood products a day to hospitals across the state to meet the needs of patients. This is a daunting task, and we cannot do it without the generosity of our blood donors.”

Those interested in donating blood or platelets may contact Mississippi Blood Services at 601-368-2673 or at www.msblood.com to find a local collection site and to schedule an appointment.

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