The American Red Cross is urging Arizona residents to donate blood as it faces a shortage in donations.
Schools and businesses that often host blood drives have shut down due to the outbreak of coronavirus, which has caused the Red Cross to miss out on 86,000 units of blood nationwide as of Thursday, said regional spokesman Jim Gilloon.
“We want to keep the blood shelves in these hospitals full because there’s still people going through cancer treatment, or need a blood transfusion,” Gilloon said. “People who are having babies that might need blood transfusions.”
The American Red Cross Greater Phoenix Chapter serves a 4.3 million population across Maricopa, Gila and Pinal counties, as well as Luke Air Force Base.
There is no known coronavirus-related risk in donating blood. The virus is airborne, so it does not travel through the blood stream.
Gilloon said Red Cross disinfects and sanitizes between donations. The organization also takes donors’ temperature and asks questions including recent travel.
Red Cross’ website tells people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, been in contact with anyone who has, or have traveled to China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, Italy or South Korea to postpone any donation for 28 days.
The organization has set up emergency blood drives at locations around the Valley.
Donors can visit the Red Cross website to schedule an appointment.
“We want anybody who’s healthy and able to give blood to come down to the regional headquarters and to donate blood,” Gilloon said. “One donation, one pint can save up to three lives.”
Click here to make an appointment to donate.