The Red Cross has declared a national blood crisis in the United States for the first time ever as the country deals with the worst shortage in more than a decade.
The non-profit said the shortage is the result of many factors, including a 10% decline in blood donations since March 2020, a 62% decrease in college and high school blood drives, and other blood drive cancellations due to inclement weather and staff shortages.
The Red Cross supplies 40% of the nation’s blood supply to hospitals and health care facilities and said that the shortage is “forcing doctors to make tough decisions about who receives blood transfusions.”
As a result of the shortage, less than a one-day supply of critical blood types are available.
The Red Cross is urging people to donate blood, especially those who have type O blood.
“Winter weather across the country and the recent surge of COVID-19 cases are compounding the already-dire situation facing the blood supply,” said Baia Lasky, medical director for the Red Cross. “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.”
If you want to help, you make an appointment to donate blood by visiting http://rcblood.org/appt.