Lack of Blood Donations Can Worsen COVID-19 Pandemic

The spread of coronavirus infection has affected everyday life to a significant extent. Even after easing of restrictions and lockdown in countries, people are finding it difficult to return to normal life prior to the beginning of the ongoing pandemic.

According to health researchers, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may change the way of life forever. In fact, since the coronavirus is likely to stay for months or even another year, practices such as wearing masks and social distancing may remain forever.

This is true even if the countries are able to reduce the number of new cases and conduct coronavirus testing on a large-scale for tracing of the virus.

However, considering the other effects of the health crisis, these practices are of little concern. Currently, one of the major worries for all governments is a potential economic crisis which may even pave the way for further health issues.

Since healthcare systems of all affected countries have been strained, lack of funding and high economic costs may further negatively affect them which, in turn, can make it even more difficult to treat, control, and trace the coronavirus infection.

In addition, recent research has also shown there is a risk for an increase in other health complications during the coronavirus pandemic as many people are choosing to delay their treatment and avoid regular visits to their doctors due to fear of contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus infection.

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This includes people with chronic health issues such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Secondly, hospitals have reported a dramatic decrease in elective surgeries, emergency room visits for suicides and other emergencies, and even fundamental screenings for health conditions.

While social distancing and staying at home in one of the necessary guidelines for the prevention of the coronavirus infection, it does not mean that hospital visits for chronic health conditions should be delayed, in accordance with health care workers.

It should also be noted that there is also a requirement for hospital visits for other purposes, including blood donation, which has also decreased since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

A sufficient amount of blood supply and donations are fundamental for the treatment of various emergency room cases as well as a number of diseases.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), transfusing blood is necessary for a number of medical situations ranging from blood loss during surgical procedures and accidents to health diseases that may hinder the body’s ability to produce blood properly.

A person may need a different type of blood transfusions depending on the type of situation which may be red blood cells, plasma, whole blood donation, and plasma donation.

Statistically, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention states that blood transfusions are needed in all hospitals in the US on a daily basis, many of which are done in life-threatening situations.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a blood transfusion is required every two seconds in the country which means a lack of available blood, which is primarily obtained from over thirteen million donors, can increase the number of deaths dramatically.

The Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research,  Dr. Peter Marks, the coronavirus pandemic has posed a great threat to the blood supply in the US and may even be responsible for causing a very high number of complications in the future.

Therefore, even while social distancing is necessary, blood donation during the COVID-19 pandemic is greatly needed, which can be done by following all safety measures for avoiding the virus such as wearing a mask, avoiding touching the face, and washing hands immediately.

If safety instructions are followed properly, the positive impact of blood donation can outweigh the potential consequences of people leaving their homes for donating and can also help in avoiding increased health challenges in the future.

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