Blood donation need grow critical as virus crisis continues

The coronavirus pandemic is creating havoc with the Red Cross’s ability to gather blood donations.

Melissa Fairbanks serves on the board of the Southeast Indiana Chapter of the American Red Cross, and explains that people are canceling blood drives in unprecedented numbers. Some of that is because people are being told to stay at home, and are not showing up at blood drives.

In Indiana, 129 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled, resulting in 4,172 fewer blood donations. And those donations are needed as blood needs continue throughout the crisis.

The Red Cross hopes to educate the public that there is no evidence that this coronavirus, or any respiratory virus, can be transmitted by blood transfusion.

But the regular needs for donated blood continue despite the ongoing pandemic.

Fairbanks said that the Red Cross has put into place new procedures to ensure the safety of the staff and donors during blood drives including checking the temperature of patrons before they enter the blood drive area, providing hand sanitizer and spacing out donor beds to maintain social distancing.

If you are interested in donating blood, the schedule is constantly changing. for the most up-to-date information, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.