For Immediate Release
March 17, 2016
SACRAMENTO, CA – BloodSource is part of a national effort to supply blood to Puerto Rico—one of the U.S. territories hardest hit by the Zika virus. Puerto Rican blood centers have stopped collecting blood locally because of the outbreak there. Currently, there is no blood screening test available for Zika. BloodSource, part of the Blood Systems family, will send blood to Puerto Rico this week
“Once we’ve met the blood needs of our local patients we are more than willing to help wherever there is a need,” said Katherine Elorduy, Manager of Donor Marketing and Communications at BloodSource. “The situation in Puerto Rico is critical. Our donors are always willing to help save lives, whether it’s here or thousands of miles away.”
As of today, the Blood Systems network of community blood centers has shipped a total of more than 620 units of red cells, platelets and plasma to Puerto Rico and expects to continue to send blood for the next several weeks.
To maintain a safe blood supply, BloodSource requires that donors who have returned from an area where Zika is present wait 28 days before they give blood. In addition, donors should not donate if in the PAST 4 WEEKS they:
The most common Zika symptoms are: fever, rash, joint or muscle pain, eye pain or redness, or headache.
“With the upcoming spring break and summer travel, we’re asking people to donate before they visit a Zika-affected area,” says Elorduy. “Or, if you’re healthy and are not planning on traveling to one of these areas, please make an appointment today to donate blood soon.”
For a list of Zika-affected areas and an advisory for blood donors, or to schedule a donation appointment, please visit bloodsource.org or call 866.822.5663.
Since 1948, BloodSource® has saved countless lives through the generosity of its passionate volunteer donor base. Established as a not-for-profit community blood bank, BloodSource® is part of the Blood Systems network, providing blood and medical expertise to hospitals throughout Northern and Central California, and around the world. The Blood Systems network is one of the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit blood service organizations, and is a founding member of America’s Blood Centers and the AABB. Donors can save lives in many ways at BloodSource®, through source plasma, platelets, transfusable plasma or whole blood donation. BloodSource continues to evolve as a leader in blood and transfusion medicine for quality and innovation. Together, we do save lives.
About Blood Donation
Donating blood is safe, easy and takes about an hour. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be at least 17 years old (16 with a signed BloodSource parent consent form) and in general good health. There is no upper age limit for blood donations. Donors must bring a photo ID and drink plenty of fluids before donating. Potential marrow donors can register for Be The Match® national marrow registry through BloodSource. Schedule an appointment or learn more at 866.822.5663 or bloodsource.org.