By Darcy Grabenstein
This week, amid increasing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, I donated blood. As the technician proceeded with the standard prep phases – taking my temperature and blood pressure, checking my iron level and, in addition to the usual screening questions, asking about any recent travel outside the US – I asked if she had seen a decrease in donations due to COVID-19. She responded that she hadn’t noticed a significant drop-off in donations.
However, her experience does not reflect the stark reality in other parts of the country. In Sacramento, for example, five blood drives were canceled, causing a precipitous drop in donations. Seattle, which has nearly 500 reported cases of COVID-19, is reporting a blood shortage.