With the Stay At Home directives now implemented in Indiana, the federal government has issued a guidance around COVID-19 related to blood donation.

That guidance reminds the public that Versiti Blood Center of Indiana donor centers and community blood drives across the state remain open because of the critical nature of blood donation to our country. Healthy donors are still needed to ensure an adequate blood supply. According to the governor’s executive order, individuals are allowed to leave their residence for “Healthcare and Public Health Operations.” This includes organizations collecting blood, platelets, plasma and other necessary materials.

Donor environments often will involve more than 10 people within a physical space. This exception is supported by the agency noted above, as well as the directors of agencies such as HHS, FEMA, the Food and Drug Administration and CISA of the Department of Homeland Security. “This is an extraordinary time in our country and for the healthcare community, of which Versiti Blood Center of Indiana is a critical partner,” said Chief Medical Officer Thomas Abshire. “Versiti Blood Center of Indiana supplies blood to more than 80 hospitals across the state. It is critically important to maintain an adequate blood supply so these hospitals can deliver life-saving blood products to trauma patients and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.”

Staff at donor centers and community blood drives are using precautions consistent with the CDC and the American Association of Blood Banks recommendations while collecting donations. These include prescreening both staff and donors for COVID-19 symptoms, complying with social distancing throughout the donation process, beds six feet apart and/or separated by a partition, wiping down surface areas and beds, and providing only packaged snacks and drinks.

Blood donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment by calling 317-916-5150 or visiting versiti.org/indiana

Founded in 1952, Versiti Blood center of Indiana, formerly Indiana Blood Center, is a non-profit organization and vital community resource dedicated to providing a continuous, safe and adequate supply of blood components and biological services to more than 80 Indiana hospitals and their patients and beyond. More than 90,000 Hoosiers donate life-saving blood each year. For more, visit versit.org/Indiana.

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