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LifeSouth: Donating blood still safe with coronavirus

MADISON – With increases of the coronavirus virus impacting public concern, LifeSouth ensures the community and blood donors that donating blood is a safe procedure.

The centers encourage blood donations to maintain a necessary blood supply serving more than 100 hospitals in Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

“A sharp decline in donations is already being felt due to worry about the virus, although individuals are not at risk of contracting the coronavirus through the blood donation process,” Eric Franchois said. Franchois works as District Community Development Coordinator for LifeSouth.

“LifeSouth assures (their staff) is taking every precaution to minimize the risk to blood donors. Blood donors are needed every day, and anyone who is in good health is encouraged to donate,” Franchois said.

Dr. Chris Lough, Vice President of Medical Services for LifeSouth, said respiratory viruses, like COVID-19, are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion, and no cases of transfusion transmitted coronaviruses have been reported. “The most significant risk to the blood supply posed by COVID-19 is a lack of availability due to a decrease in donations,” Lough said.

Hospitals have begun to voice concern due to a strained blood supply. Blood donations will confirm that the community blood supply remains stable as the virus spreads, travel bans increase, and the ongoing impact of the current flu season affects the number of donors able to give.

LifeSouth, along with the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) and America’s Blood Centers, urges businesses, schools, churches and community organizations to continue to hold blood drives and encourage blood donation. To find a nearby blood drive, call 888-795-2707 or visit lifesouth.org.

LifeSouth is a non-profit community blood bank serving more than 100 hospitals in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. LifeSouth is committed to meeting the blood supply needs of hospitals and their patients by providing the highest quality blood components and services. The LifeSouth team coordinates 27 donor centers, 45 blood mobiles and 2,000 blood drives monthly.

LifeSouth’s address in Madison is 8190 Madison Blvd. For more information, call 256-533-8246, email egfranchois@lifesouth.org or visit lifesouth.org.

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