• By Deborah Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Blood donations in demand

April 6, 2020

Healthy adults are being asked to make an appointment to donate blood to help meet the ongoing demand for blood products. Dr. Justin Kreuter, a transfusion medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic, says donating blood is safe, and one blood donation can potentially save up to three lives.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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Every 10 minutes, a Mayo Clinic patient needs a blood transfusion. Dr. Justin Kreuter says with that constant demand, they need about 100 donors per day just to maintain the blood supply.

"Every day, we need a whole lot of people to take an hour out of their day, roll up their sleeve and donate blood so that our family members can live, our community members can live, patients that we're never going to meet in our lives can fight their cancer," says Dr. Kreuter.

Keeping the inventories stocked isn't the only challenge blood banks are facing.

"It's really important that we build diversity into our blood donor community," says Dr. Kreuter.

He explains that there are some patients with certain blood types who are best matched by donors from the same ethnic background.

"By having diversity in the blood donor community, having diversity in the blood that's on our shelves, if there's somebody in our community that needs that blood rapidly, we're more likely to find a safe and compatible unit for them," Dr. Kreuter says.

For those interested in learning more about giving blood, check the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program website, or you local blood donation center.

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For the latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, check the CDC website. For more information and COVID-19 coverage, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and mayoclinic.org.

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