Desperate Need for Blood
— Blood banks all over the country are finding they are unable to keep up with the demands of hospitals, triggering the announcement of a national blood shortage.
Giving more than they’re getting, a perfect storm of fewer donors and blood drives canceled because of natural disasters have the American Red Cross doing everything they can to get donors coming in the door.
Ashley Hughes, district manager of biomedical services for American Red Cross, said ”we never want to say no–that we can’t meet that need.”
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, blood banks and organizations like American Red Cross have been pushing hard to provide the blood that hospitals need. In Jan. 2022, American Red Cross declared a national blood crisis due to a 10% drop in donations
”We did hit really critical level lows where, unfortunately, we weren’t able to meet the needs for hospitals,” Hughes said. “We never want to see that again.”
American Red Cross is facing a similar situation due to a drop in donations over the summer months and the loss of about 30,000 units of blood because of hurricane Idalia. As well, over a dozen blood drives were canceled because of the hurricane.
Hospitals are now using blood faster than blood banks can supply it, and American Red Cross says the country’s blood supply has fallen by about 25% in the last month.
If you’d like to donate, you can visit www.redcrossblood.org.
Donate blood by Sep. 18th, and you can receive a limited-edition Red Cross t-shirt for free.