Got blood? Inova Blood Donor Services calls for additional donations

With only about a two-day inventory of blood available, Inova Blood Donor Services is asking for your help.

Donations and inventory haven’t been this low since January, when the American Red Cross declared its first ever national blood crisis.

Inova Blood Services normally likes to have a three-to-five-day inventory of blood. It supplies blood to 10 hospitals.

“Given that we only have about a two-day supply, if we have — let’s say — multiple accidents on 495 or something that ends up coming into our hospitals, we’re in a world of trouble,” Kevin Giambi with Inova Blood Donor Services told WTOP.

If that happened, Giambi said Inova would probably have to try to get blood from other parts of the country. The trouble with that solution is that most other places around the nation are also short on blood.

The types of blood Inova Blood Donor Services needs most are O positive and O negative.

Blood donations typically drop over the summer because students are out of school and families take vacations. This year, Giambi said COVID-19 is making the situation worse in two ways. First, more people than usual appear to be going out of town. Second, a large number of people are still working from home.

“Offices still aren’t full. Where we had fantastic partners in the business sector, private and public, whether it’s governments hosting blood drives or individual corporations … those really haven’t returned,” he said.

If you can help, make an appointment online to donate blood at a donation center.

Another way to go is to visit a blood drive near you. Inova Blood Donor Services’ Facebook page lists several that are being held over the next few days.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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