Red Cross Declares Nationwide Blood Crisis for the 1st Time in History

A person donates blood.A person donates blood.
A person donates blood.Getty

The nonprofit is asking anyone who is eligible to donate as the country faces a blood shortage partially caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first time in history, the Red Cross has declared a national blood crisis. The non-profit announced that the country is facing its worst blood shortage in a decade, and much of it has to do with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Winter weather across the country and the recent surge of COVID-19 cases are compounding the already-dire situation facing the blood supply,” the Red Cross’ medical director, Dr. Baia Lasky, said in a statement.

The organization explained that it has seen a 10% decline in overall donation since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Some of which is due to blood drives at high schools and colleges being canceled due to the pandemic, the statement read.

They are also seeing blood drives canceled because of bad weather, illness, including a surge in COVID-19 and flu cases and staffing limitations, although the organization did not specify whether the last two are linked.

“Please, if you are eligible, make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the days and weeks ahead to ensure no patient is forced to wait for critical care,” Lasky said.

They are seeking those with Type O Positive and Type O Negative blood in particular, as well as those who can donate platelets.

In addition to blood, the Red Cross is also putting out an appeal for volunteers.

To make an appointment, visit their website.

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