So many different aspects of our daily lives have already been and continue to be affected at the moment by the rising number of coronavirus cases across the nation.

One of the areas feeling the pinch right now is blood donation. There are a couple of reasons for a significant decrease in donations, one, can be attributed to the cancellation of blood drives due to travel restrictions and social distancing efforts now in play to help combat the spread of the coronavirus. The other reason is a rather strong cold and flu season across the country again this winter.

As more cases of the virus continue to mount, there is the potential for it to adversely impact the availability of blood as more blood drives get canceled, and fewer healthy donors are readily available to sustain the blood supply.

Dakota News Now is reporting the Sioux Falls Community Blood Bank, the sole blood provider to 36 local hospitals including Avera McKennan Hospital, Sanford Medical Center, Sanford Children’s Hospital, Avera Heart Hospital, Sanford Heart Hospital, Sioux Falls V.A. Medical Center and the Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital is busy working to maintain an adequate supply for patients. 

According to Dakota News Now, those wishing to step forward to donate blood at this time must be at least 17 years old (or 16 years old with a signed parent consent form found at Donors must weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good general health.

Any person who currently is currently exhibiting cold or flu symptoms, like a cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, and a sore throat, is unable to donate blood at this time. Also, people who recently traveled outside of the country had close contact with someone who might have COVID-19 or recently traveled on a cruise ship, are not able to give blood at the present time.

Blood donors are asked to bring along a valid form of identification at the time they register to donate. The Community Blood Bank asks that you eat and drink plenty of fluid prior to donating blood.

You can find a complete list of blood drive locations, and get more information on how to become a blood donor here or by calling 877-877-3070.

Source: Dakota News Now

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