We Are Blood issues urgent call for blood donations

AUSTIN (Talk1370.com) -- We Are Blood is sounding an urgent call for blood donations across Central Texas, as blood supplies continue to be impacted by COVID-19.

The blood center, which serves more than 40 Central Texas hospitals and medical centers, has struggled to hold mobile blood drives during the pandemic. Those mobile drives typically account for 50% of daily donations.

"We are facing a long-term shortage of blood donations and new donors in Central Texas due to a lack of mobile drives in our community," said Nick Canedo, VP of Community Engagement. "During the fall school semester, high school and university hosted blood drives account for 30% of our mobile blood drive donations, the great majority of which are now cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise many companies that have traditionally been dedicated blood drive hosts remain remote and unable to partner with us."

We Are Blood continues to host blood drives at locations willing to help, including Whataburger locations across Central Texas and amongst communities at places like Wolf Ranch Town Center, Arboretum and Lakeway's Activity Center. We Are Blood is also open weekly at its donor centers, located in Round Rock, Central Austin, and off Slaughter Lane.

"While mobile blood drives are relied upon for half the blood donations we collect each week, they are also the way new donors join We Are Blood in helping our community," Canedo said. "If community members have never donated blood before, or have not donated in a while, we encourage those interested to find an appointment at one of our centers or active mobiles drives."

According to We Are Blood, the FDA, which regulates and sets guidelines for blood centers in the United States, has reported no evidence of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus. Also, respiratory viruses, in general, are not known to be transmitted by blood transfusion. Likewise, current processes for blood donor screening, which include travel and wellness checks, reliably prevent individuals with clinical respiratory infections from donating blood.

Donations can be made at any one of three area donor centers on North Lamar, Round Rock and South Austin. There are also mobile blood drives scheduled weekly. Appointments are mandatory and face coverings must be worn throughout the donation process. Check locations for hours and days of operation. Media selects can be found here.