The flu is now widespread in throughout the United States. The CDC says every state except Hawaii is seeing a high number of cases. In New Jersey it’s causing a drop in blood donations.
Alana Mauger is the communications manager for the American Red Cross Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region.
She says you can’t donate blood if you have the flu or a cold.
“Donors may be deferring themselves. They might say, oh, I was supposed to give blood today but I can’t because I don’t feel good. Or they get to the site and they’re not able to because they have a fever or something like that. We do not accept blood from people who are not feeling 100 percent.”
Mauger says about 16-hundred units of blood that were expected didn’t get collected because of canceled blood drives.
“We’re at the point now where we are sending blood to hospitals faster than the donations are coming in. Right now, it’s not impacting patient care. Patients are getting the blood they need. But we are very close to that not happening.”
Mauger is urging people who don’t have the flu to consider donating blood to prevent the shortage from getting worse.