Coronavirus Is Hurting Las Vegas Blood Donations

Here’s How You Can Help

March 20, 2020 - 11:18 am
Blood Donations

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Las Vegas area blood banks are beginning to run dry. 

While blood banks are able to accept healthy donors every day, the blood that’s collected can only be stored for so long. According to the American Red Cross, blood platelets are stored for only five days, while red cells can be refrigerated for up to 42 days. 

With the threat of COVID-19 disease driving more southern Nevadans into their homes, blood drives have been canceled throughout the region and blood supplies face a critical shortage. 

The nonprofit blood donation center Vitalant is putting out the call to healthy donors in the Las Vegas area, urging them to visit one of their donor centers during the 30-day shutdown of essential businesses throughout Nevada. 

Donations are accepted from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the following locations: 

  • Las Vegas - 6930 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89117
  • Northwest Las Vegas - 4950 W Craig Road, Las Vegas, NV 89130
  • Henderson -  601 Whitney Ranch Drive, Henderson, NV 89014

Potential donors can make an appointment to donate at the Vitalant website or by calling 877-25-VITAL.

As there is great concern over coronavirus, the organization is reminding potential donors of their efforts to ensure health and safety during the donation process. These steps include: 

  • Allowing only healthy people are encouraged to come give blood. In fact, donors must be feeling well and free of respiratory illness symptoms, including fever, to be eligible to donate.
  • Preventing people who meet certain travel and other at-risk criteria for coronavirus infection from donating
  • Outfitting staff with gloves and personal protective gear; and wiping down donor-touched areas often and after every collection using a disinfectant.
  • Using sterile, single-use collection sets for each donor and scrubbing the donor’s arm for 30 seconds before the collection.
  • Ordering staff who don’t feel well to stay home.