Flu season ahead sign

Blood Donor Awareness During Flu Season

October 14, 2015 at 8:17 am

No one wants to be sick, especially with seasonal influenza (the “flu”). That achy, feverish feeling that keeps you in bed for a week is no fun. In addition to making people feel icky, the flu also has a significant impact on local patients that need blood. That’s
because donors who are not feeling well the day of donation will be deferred, for their safety and the safety of patients that may receive their blood.

According to the CDC, flu activity peaks between December and February, but outbreaks can start as early as October and Stanford Blood Center (SBC) can start experiencing the impact as early as September. The flu affects anywhere from 5-20% of the population in the United States each year. Considering that only 10% of the 38% eligible to donate actually do donate, the flu season can put blood centers and hospitals in the precarious position of being short on the blood products needed to save lives.

The good news is you don’t have to suffer through the flu but can avoid it all together by getting a flu shot. What’s even better is you CAN still donate blood after getting a flu shot, so long as you are feeling well the day of your donation. It’s a win-win.

So if you haven’t already, consider talking to your doctor about a flu shot, then make an appointment to donate blood at Stanford Blood Center. We need your donations even more during this challenging time.

To learn more about eligibility and deferral information visit our website.

Find a flu vaccine clinic near you http://www.flu.gov/index.html.