About half of the U.S. blood centers are already reporting low inventory levels, and the country could experience a deficiency in about two weeks as blood donation ceases due to the rapidly spreading AABB coronavirus outbreak, formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks said Tuesday.
"As of yesterday, there have been more than 4,000 canceled blood donations across the country, equivalent to approximately 130,000 fewer blood donations," said Brian Gannon, chairman of a disaster task force for AABB, in an emailed statement.
"We are also seeing a significant drop in the number of people who come to blood donation centers to donate blood. This is a real problem for patient care," he added.
US blood banks were concerned about possible bottlenecks as Americans were concerned about exposure to the highly contagious new corona virus, avoided donation centers, and companies with home-based employees canceled blood donation campaigns.
Washington State blood banks had a deficiency earlier this month that required other blood centers to send blood from outside the region, and New York state supplies also declined. New York and Washington state have the most confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The American Red Cross also warned of lack of blood and expects the number of cancellations to continue to increase. The lack of blood could affect patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or cancer patients.
"I look at the refrigerator that contains only one day of blood for the hospital," said Robertson Davenport, director of transfusion medicine at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, in a Red Cross statement. "The hospital is full. There are patients who need blood and cannot wait."
Both the AABB and the American Red Cross are encouraging Americans to continue donating. Coronavirus is not transfusion-transmissible, according to the American Red Cross.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)