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Michigan is facing a blood donation shortage due to COVID-19

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Blood donation

Michigan is seeing a shortage in blood donations due to COVID-19, so some organizations are urging healthy people to donate blood.

Todd Kulman, a spokesman for the American Red Cross, says as of Monday, about 160 blood drives have been canceled in Michigan.

“So far that’s resulted in about 5,100 fewer blood donations here for the hospitals and patients we serve in the state of Michigan,” he says.

Kulman says the blood shortage is starting to affect patients who need healthy blood now.

“Those would be victims of car accidents, other emergencies, and also patients who suffer from cancer. Cancer patients utilize a lot of blood products in their treatments for chemotherapy,” he says.

Versiti Blood Center, an organization running in multiple Midwestern states, is also facing blood shortages in Michigan. The company says it is down more than 3,400 units of blood after blood drives were canceled.

Both Versiti and the Red Cross want healthy people to donate blood. Kulman says the facilities are ensuring the equipment is sterile and safe.

“We are taking steps to keep all the equipment sterilized regularly,” he says.

Duane Brodt, a spokesman for Versiti, says the company is asking people to donate, despite encouraging social distancing.

“Versiti has implemented increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures in all donor centers and mobile donation units to provide an even safer donation experience,” says Brodt.

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Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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