Local Blood Shipped To Puerto Rico

Mar 29, 2016

Blood collected by Hoxworth Blood Center has been sent to help blood banks affected by the Zika virus.
Credit Sarah Ramsey / WVXU

Blood collected locally has been sent to Puerto Rico.  Blood banks there have been closed because over fears of spreading the Zika virus, according to Dr. Ronald Sacher.

"Since it's transmitted by blood, the transfusion services in Puerto Rico cannot distribute blood collected from donors in Puerto Rico for their communities," Sacher says. "Since there is no test, the precaution is taken to prevent individuals in an endemic area from donating."

Sacher says Hoxworth is a member of a blood bank association that received a federal grant to share the blood with Puerto Rico.  He says Hoxworth had enough on hand to be able to share.

Hoxworth Blood Center shipped 75 units of O positive on Tuesday.

"We always need donors to step up," he says. "Cincinnati is not self-sufficient in terms of its blood needs. So this is an unusual phenomenon for us but since we monitor our inventories every day and we play very close attention to our own community's needs we at the moment for whatever reason we do have increased capacity of O positive."

Sacher says if more units of blood are requested, and Hoxworth has enough to share, it will.