Vitalant is urging healthy individuals to donate blood especially during concerns over the coronavirus.

Blood centers across the nation including Vitalant here in El Paso, TX and Las Cruces, MN are taking preventative measures amidst the coronavirus and are urging healthy individuals to donate blood so that hospitals have enough blood for trauma and cancer patients.

One of the big questions is – Is it safe to donate blood? The answer is, yes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the risk of contracting the coronavirus is currently low and it is highly unlikely that it can be transmitted through blood transfusions.

The blood collection process is safe and donating blood has no impact on the donor's immune system. Apart from the vigorous FDA-mandated testing of all blood components donated, rigorous safety and disinfection protocols are followed by Vitalant at its blood drives and donation centers.

Vitalant is closely monitoring the situation and will quickly implement any necessary changes as new information emerges from the CDC, FDA, and AABB.

At this time, Vitalant is seeking donations of all blood types with a significant need for platelets and type O blood donations. Platelets have a very short shelf life of only five days. Type O-negative blood is the universal blood type, which is mostly used in traumas, which can help stabilize all patients. Vitalant aims to maintain a 4-day supply of blood but at this moment they have less than half of that for many blood types.

If you are able to donate blood make an appointment at your nearest Vitalant location and help save a life. For more information and to schedule a donation, visit vitalant.org or call 877-258-4825.