Article | March 16, 2020

An Often-Overlooked Way To Participate In Clinical Research

By Darcy Grabenstein

Donating Blood 450x300

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.

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