EASTERN NIAGARA HEALTHLINES: Need for blood donations escalates

Carolyn Moore

Local hospitals rely on a continuous source of blood in order to care for, and treat, patients on a daily basis. ConnectLife, Western New York’s only organ, eye, tissue and community blood center, has been seeing a decline in local blood donations, as fears of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) escalate.

It’s extremely important to maintain the supply of blood in our community. Warnings that the public should stay home and avoid crowds are leading to cancelled appointments and blood drives. Eligible healthy donors without risk factors are encouraged to make and keep their appointments to donate blood, while blood drive sponsors should make every effort to continue hosting scheduled drives.

To ensure an adequate blood supply for all local hospitals it is imperative that healthy, eligible individuals continue to donate. Blood has a short shelf life and must be routinely replenished. Blood donors must be healthy, feeling well and free of respiratory illness symptoms to be eligible to donate. It is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives.

ConnectLife is the primary supplier of blood products to Eastern Niagara Hospital, Oishei Children’s Hospital, Buffalo General Medical Center, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, DeGraff Memorial Hospital, ECMC, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and various facilities outside of Niagara and Erie counties. All donations help save lives in your local community — but the blood bank can only answer the call for blood products with the help of blood donors. There is no substitute for blood. Only the human body can produce this life-saving fluid.

Please note, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there have been no reported or suspected cases of blood transfusion-transmitted COVID-19 to date. It poses no known risk to the safety of the nation’s blood supply and does not pose any known risk to patients receiving blood transfusions.

If you would like to help save lives in your community and step up to help maintain the critical supply of blood for those in need, please register for an upcoming blood drive at Connectlife.org. Eastern Niagara Hospital will also be hosting a blood drive next week, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, March 19th. Call (716) 514-5505 for an appointment or register online. Walk-ins are welcome. All participants receive a certificate for a complimentary meal in the ENH Cafe.

Carolyn Moore, MS Ed., is the community relations director for the Eastern Niagara Health System. Eastern Niagara Healthlines is a special feature by the Community Relations department. For more information, call 716-514-5505.

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