NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

HHS Deputy Secretary Donates Blood, Films Video

Hargan gives blood
HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan gives blood at NIH, an occasion that was videotaped for use in a public service announcement.

Photo:  Chia-Chi Charlie Chang

Eric Hargan, HHS deputy secretary, visited the NIH Blood Bank on the morning of Mar. 24. He came to donate blood and to participate in a video about the importance of blood and plasma donation, especially during a pandemic that is keeping donors from visiting blood banks, thus creating shortages. 

Wilkins and West hold a sign that reads, "Yes, we're open."
Hal Wilkins, donor recruitment supervisor, and Dr. Kamille West, chief, blood services section, Clinical Center department of transfusion medicine, show that the NIH Blood Bank is open for business.

He had several takeaway messages emphasized in the video: Donating blood is safe and it saves lives, but you must check your eligibility to donate. Centers for blood and plasma donation remain open, but it’s best to call ahead and make an appointment. Lastly, such centers are easy to find by searching online.

He added, “Every two seconds a patient needs a blood transfusion. Coronavirus patients don’t typically need blood, but patients at hospitals who’ve experienced events such as car accidents or who need lifesaving cancer treatments still do. The donation you make can potentially save up to three lives.”“COVID-19 is not blood-borne and donation centers are taking extra precautions based on CDC guidelines, including social distancing, to ensure the good health of those who donate,” Hargan said.

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