Bethesda, Md. – AABB is partnering with the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) to launch a national campaign urging people to donate blood. The initiative is designed to educate the public about the need for blood donation, how to connect with their local blood centers to understand the needs within their communities, and why blood donation is always important.
Each year, an estimated 6.8 million people in the United States donate blood. A consistent and diverse supply of blood is critical, since blood can only be stored for a limited time. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges to the collection of blood in the United States. Blood donation is critical at all times, and especially so right now.
As quarantines were implemented across the nation due to the pandemic, many corporations, universities, high schools, religious institutions and other sites ceased holding blood drives. In addition, blood centers throughout the country experienced a decrease in the number of people coming in to make donations. The decrease in blood collections have led to blood shortages that have affected health care providers’ ability to ensure optimal patient care. The shortage is particularly acute among African Americans and other underrepresented groups.
In addition to the shelter-in-place mandate and the need for social distancing, some individuals may have concerns about the safety of donating blood during the pandemic. Protecting the health and safety of donors, patients and blood center staff remains the top priority for the blood community. Measures already in place at blood centers are designed to provide the highest level of safety and infection control. In addition, blood centers throughout the country are taking extra precautions to help ensure the safety of both donors and staff.
It is important that eligible individuals continue to donate blood during this time so that an adequate blood supply is always available to patients in need.
By combining their efforts, AABB and ASCP hope to broaden their reach by amplifying the message across their respective constituencies. Members will be encouraged to share this on their social media channels and with family, friends and colleagues. The campaign will also include a patient-facing initiative.
Please consider making a blood donation today. Your donation of one unit of blood has the potential to save up to three lives. Give now. Someone’s life may depend on it!
Visit the AABB’s Blood Bank Locator at www.aabb.org/giveblood.
AABB is an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in the fields of transfusion medicine and biotherapies. The Association is committed to improving health through the development and delivery of standards, accreditation and educational programs that focus on optimizing patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership includes physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers, administrators, medical technologists and other health care providers. AABB members are located in more than 80 countries and AABB accredits institutions in over 50 countries. For more information, visit www.aabb.org.