Flu season peaks, but problems remain
February 23, 2018 10:48 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico Department of Health says this unusually bad flu season has peaked, but the virus is still creating problems. In addition to school and work absences, United Blood Services of New Mexico says it is impacting their blood supply.
“This has been one of the worst flu seasons that we've seen in many, many years,” said Liz Rosenbaum, Medical Director of United Blood Services of New Mexico.
Rosenbaum says many donors are unable to come in because either they have the flu, or they are home taking care of someone who has the flu.
Part of the questionnaire people are required to fill out before donating asks, ‘Are you feeling healthy and well today?’ If the answer is no, you can’t donate until those symptoms have gone away.
This flu season, United Blood Services of New Mexico has seen a 37% increase in blood donation cancellations. It’s a scary thought since they never know when they’ll need it.
"We definitely need to have that blood readily available in case a tragedy or something happens," said Monica Herrera, Recruiter for United Blood Services of NM.
Donating whole blood takes about 10 minutes. Donating platelets takes about 2 hours, but they are especially important because platelet donations expire after just five days.
“It's virtually impossible to bank them and build up a supply of them that we can fall back on in times of need when flu season comes and we don't see our wonderful regulars," said Daniel Downs, Donor Care Supervisor for United Blood Services of NM.
The New Mexico Department of Health says as of February 16th, there were 34 flu-related deaths in the state. One blood donation, could save a life instead.
Anyone interested in donating can make an appointment at www.unitedbloodservices.org.
Updated: February 23, 2018 10:48 AM
Created: February 23, 2018 10:48 AM
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