ROCHESTER, Minn. - The Coronavirus Pandemic is causing a shortage of blood donations across the country. That's why the Food and Drug Administration is making changes that will make more people eligible to donate blood.
The changes will allow more people to donate blood while still keeping the blood supply safe. For example, people who travel to parts of Mexico where there's a risk of getting Malaria usually have to wait a year after returning to the United States to donate. Under the new guidelines, they would only have to wait 3 months.
The Mayo Clinic Blood Donation Program currently has a healthy, 2 week supply of blood. But other parts of the country are facing a shortage. It all depends on how an area's population has been affected by COVID-19.
"I am still very concerned in the coming weeks to months as people that come in to donate get sick or quarantined, or are unable to come in because they have to take care of a loved one," said Doctor Justin Kreuter, a Transfusion Medicine Specialist with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program.
The new FDA guidelines cannot be implemented at the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program right now. All people qualified to implement those changes are working around the clock on the Convalescent Plasma Program . The program takes plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 and uses it to treat others who have the illness.