Need for blood donations rapidly escalates as surgeries rescheduled

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INDIANAPOLIS — The need for blood donations has decreased over the past few months as hospitals have focused on the treatment of COVID-19 patients. But the need for blood has quickly shifted as hospitals resume surgeries and anticipate trauma cases to increase as safer at home orders are relaxed in some communities.

Versiti Blood Center of Indiana is seeking the generosity of Hoosiers across the state to donate life-saving blood to ensure hospitals have the necessary blood and blood products they need.

“The need is immediate,” said Versiti Vice President of Transfusion Medicine Dr. Dan Waxman. “These are extraordinary times and there has been a lot of uncertainty because of coronavirus. When dozens of blood drives were canceled in March and April because of the virus, we saw tremendous community outpouring at our donor centers. The need for blood donations has now spiked again.”

Versiti indicates a high need now for donations of O-negative blood, the universal blood type used in trauma situations.

To ensure ongoing donor safety, Versiti requires all employees and donors to wear cloth face coverings during their appointment. Donors are asked to bring their own face mask or covering if they have one. 

Social distancing is being practiced at all Versiti donation centers and community blood drives. The temperature of each potential donor and all employees is being taken. Also, Versiti has implemented increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures at all donor centers and mobile donation sites.

Donating blood takes about an hour. Anyone age 17 or older in good health who meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to give. Parental consent is required for donors age 16 to donate blood. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date.

Appointments are encouraged at any of Versiti’s seven Indiana donor centers and at any local community blood drive. Walk-in donors are welcome but may experience wait times. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 317-916-5150 or visit Versiti online at http://www.versiti.org/Indiana.

More than 90,000 Indiana residents each year give blood through Versiti Blood Center of Indiana, formerly Indiana Blood Center, a non-profit organization founded in 1952 that operates blood donation centers in Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Greenwood, Lafayette, Terre Haute and Highland. The center also operates thousands of mobile and community blood drives each year throughout the state. Versiti provides a continuous and safe supply of blood and biological services to more than 80 Indiana hospitals and their patients and beyond.

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