INDIANAPOLIS -- A consequence of the coronavirus pandemic is a shortage of blood and a need for donations.
The American Red Cross says it is facing a "severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations."
Through March 23, 6,000 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled across the country due to coronavirus concerns, resulting in 200,000 fewer blood donations. This includes nearly 7,200 fewer donations in Indiana.
As a result, the Red Cross is adding appointment slots at donation centers and expanding capacity at many community blood drives over the next few weeks.
The Red Cross stresses that donating blood is a safe process, and Red Cross employees are following thorough safety protocols to help prevent the spread of any type of disease or infection.
The U.S. surgeon general has said, “You can still go out and give blood. We’re worried about potential blood shortages in the future. Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement.”
Appointments to donate blood can be scheduled by going to: RedCrossBlood.org
On March 24 and 25, the Red Cross will be taking blood donations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1510 North Meridian Street in Indianapolis. Donors are encouraged to make an appointment.
The Versiti Blood Center of Indiana is also an option for donors. It has a number of locations in and around Indianapolis and statewide. The Indianapolis Blood Center is located at 3450 North Meridian Street.
More information from Versiti can be found at: https://www.versiti.org/ways-to-give/blood-donation/locations