Supply in crisis: Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin declares statewide emergency appeal for donations

MILWAUKEE -- Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin has declared a statewide emergency need for blood donations.

“The blood supply has reached crisis proportions,” said Versiti Chief Medical Officer Tom Abshire, M.D. “The unprecedented shift in the environment has created the “perfect storm” resulting in a national blood shortage, which is also impacting our local communities. The blood shortage means we are currently unable to provide our hospital partners with the usual supply of blood products. Patient lives could be at risk, particularly if trauma situations occur, if we are not able to maintain an adequate blood supply.”

Donor safety measures in place

To ensure donor safety, Versiti has implemented increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures, based upon FDA and CDC guidance, in all donor centers and at community blood drives. In addition, Versiti requires all employees to wear cloth face coverings as well as donors, when in a Versiti facility. Donors are asked to bring their own face covering if they have one.

Social distancing is also being practiced at all donation centers and community blood drives, and the temperature and clinical symptoms of all potential blood donors is being taken, as well as that of staff members.

Versiti indicates that all blood types are needed and as always, there is a particular need for O negative blood – the universal blood type used in trauma situations.

Appointments can be scheduled by calling 1-877-BE-A-HERO or at Appointments are strongly encouraged. With coronavirus safety precautions in place, walk-ins could experience wait times.