The FDA is urging people to make blood donations during the coronavirus outbreak. Across the nation and in New Mexico, hospitals are in critical need of blood donations. Vitalant has four blood donation centers throughout New Mexico. They are also hosting blood drives throughout the state. Visit https://www.vitalant.org/ or call 1-877-827-4376 to make an appointment or to see upcoming blood drive events.
Due to COVID-19, Vitlalant is requiring that people do not donate if in the past four weeks they have done the following:
- Been outside of the 50 United States or traveled via cruise ship
- Lived with or been in close contact with individuals diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 infection
- Have been diagnosed with or suspected of having COVID-19 infection
Vitalant Blood Donation Centers
- Albuquerque Donor Center
- 1515 University Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87102
- Farmington Donor Center
- 475 E. 20th St. Suite A Farmington, NM 87401
- Rio Rancho Donor Center
- 2003 Southern Blvd. SE Suite 122 Rio Rancho, NM 87124
- Santa Fe Donor Center
- 2801 Rodeo Road Suites C1-C2 Santa Fe, NM 87505
Q: Who can give blood?
A: If you are in good health and meet Vitalant’s general eligibility criteria, then you are able to donate blood. In light of the coronavirus, Vitalant is constantly updating its eligibility criteria as new information emerges from the CDC. View Vitalant’s latest donation eligibility information.
Q: What are the basic requirements for blood donation?
- Must be at least 16 years old (16- and 17-year-olds must bring a signed permission form from a parent or guardian, if required by state or school).
- Weigh at least 110 pounds.
- Be in good general health.
- For your safety and to ensure a positive donation experience, make sure you eat within two hours ahead of your donation. Drink plenty of water that day and 24 to 48 hours beforehand. Feel free to help yourself to something to eat and drink in our refreshment area.
- Bring your ID—something with your name and one of the following: date of birth, donor ID number or your photo.
- You must wait eight weeks between whole blood donations. Learn more about specific intervals for other types of donations.
- You should not be under the influence of alcohol or recreational drugs at the time of donation.
Q: How can I find a place to donate?
Q: I have an appointment to give blood. Should I keep it even in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak?
A: Yes, as long as your healthy and meet the general blood donation requirements. Blood donation is a critical and necessary health care activity at this time. It’s also permitted by the CDC, the U.S. Surgeon General and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Q: There is a stay-at-home order for New Mexico. Can I still donate?
A: Yes. Giving blood is okay to do as a critical and necessary health care activity.
Q: I’m trying to schedule an appointment to give blood, but I cannot get through to someone on the phone. What should I do?
A: According to Vitlant’s website, they are working quickly to open additional donation opportunities (including extra appointment slots, extending donor center hours and offering additional places to donate) in the coming days and weeks.
Vitalant is asking people to be patient with them if they can’t get through. Call 1-877-827-4376 or go to vitalant.org to make an appointment. If you cannot find a convenient donation opportunity online, call 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825) for assistance.
Q: Should I donate blood to get tested for coronavirus?
A: No. There are no tests available at the centers that screen for COVID-19.
Q: If I give blood, will it weaken my immune system to fight off coronavirus?
A: No. Blood donation does not impact or weaken a donor’s immune system.
Q: Can people get coronavirus from a blood transfusion?
A: COVID-19 continues to pose no known risk to patients receiving blood transfusions. There are no reported cases of transmission of the virus via blood transfusion. No cases of transfusion-transmission were ever reported for the other two coronaviruses that emerged during the past two decades (SARS and MERS-CoV).
Q: Can someone who has had coronavirus donate blood once they have recovered?
A: Yes, however, Vitalant requires that people with diagnosed COVID-19 infection wait at least 28 days after the resolution of their symptoms before donating blood, based on FDA guidelines.
Q: What is antibody testing and COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma?
A: Vitalant is testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. They are providing an initial test, followed up by a supplemental test for those who qualify, to help identify donors who could help COVID-19 patients by becoming future convalescent plasma donors. If someone has fully recovered from COVID-19 and has gone at least 28 days symptom free, their plasma may be able to help patients currently fighting the virus.
Q: Can someone who has received the coronavirus vaccine donate blood or plasma?
A: Someone who has received their vaccine cannot donate their plasma for the COVID-19 Convalescent plasma, however they can still donate blood. Those interested should speak with the donor care team or visit their website to see whether or not they are still eligible to donate.