US Blood Shortage Possible As Americans Worry About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The U.S. may soon see blood shortages as more Americans worry about catching COVID-19.
News 9 spoke to the CEO of the Oklahoma Blood Institute who said there will be major medical consequences if there is a shortage of blood.
There are two misconceptions about donating blood and the coronavirus. One, you can get the virus from a blood transfusion and two, a blood test will tell you if you have the virus or not.
John Armitage M.D. Oklahoma Blood Institute President and CEO said both were false.
“The good news about the coronavirus is that it's not a blood born disease. It's a respiratory virus. There has never been a respiratory virus pass through a blood transfusion,” he said.
There has been a lot of chatter on social media recently suggesting that a person can be diagnosed with the virus by getting a blood test.
“I'm happy to say that we don't test because we don't need to test," Armitage said with smile on his face. “The virus can’t be spread through blood and only happy and healthy people donate blood.”
With that being said, blood is still needed.
“We've got thousands of folks in hospital right now. They're getting chemotherapy, they're getting a liver transplant. They're in labor and delivery having a child. They need blood right now,” Armitage said.
A lot of people don't realize how much they depend on blood donations, he said.
"There are an enormous number of patients who may never know that they couldn't have had that liver biopsy, that chemotherapy. Even though they ended up not needing the blood, because it was there it was safe enough to do those things,” Armitage said.
The Oklahoma Blood Institute has 9 locations across the state. To find the one that’s nearest to you, click here.