CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – The local Red Cross is all too common with blood shortages, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, their storage went from bad to worse.
In New York state alone the Red Cross has lost 178 blood drives according to Sheila Sullivan, the Red Cross Account Manager for the Finger Lakes. That means an estimated loss of 5,111 units uncollected blood.
“We’re dancing as fast as we can to make sure that blood is on the shelves at all our local hospitals when people need it, and with the cancellation of all these blood drives, it’s become very challenging. more than normal,” Sullivan said.
Blood drives are being canceled by the locations that previously offered to house them.
“We need everybody right now this is something unprecedented, I have been with the organization for thirty years and I have never seen anything like,” Sullivan said. “We need everybody, we need places, we need donors if you haven’t thought about it before please think about it now because we really need to make sure that the patients in the hospitals get with they need.”
The Red Cross has established new protocols to be in line with social distancing and to ensure the safety of the donors as well as the volunteers including setting the beds six feet apart, taking the temperature of everyone involved in the process, and in some circumstances, making people stand outside while they wait to donate.
The schedules for the blood drives can change frequently so Sullivan advises people to check their website for the nearest blood drive on their website.