(AbsoluteNews.com) – The American Red Cross supplies about 40% of the blood needed across the US each year. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic and winter conditions keeping people inside and out of the cold, the organization announced its first-ever shortage crisis on January 11. According to the Red Cross, the shortfall could mean doctors will have to make hard choices about who will get blood transfusions and what patients will have to wait.
The shortage not only calls for a need for blood donations, but platelets are also “critically needed” for sick and injured citizens across the United States. The organization reported an approximate 10% decrease in donations since the onset of COVID-19 at the beginning of 2020.
How This Affects America
According to the Red Cross, America’s Blood Centers, and the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB), blood centers have only “less than a one day’s supply” of certain blood types needed for proper medical care. That means hospitals may not be able to adequately care for patients with blood disorders, accident victims, cancer patients, or anyone else needing new blood to survive. Although the organizations are doing everything possible to increase the number of donors helping out, it doesn’t seem to be enough to get the supply up. The blood donation organizations asked for Americans to step up and help.
An Illinois resident recently stated it’s become common to wait days for blood. Sadly, some patients don’t have the time to spare, and it could begin to cost people their lives.
The Red Cross released a statement saying it’s no different when it comes to coronavirus challenges. In addition to the decrease in donors, the organization is struggling with staffing issues due to the recent Omicron surge, and the flu could make things worse.
How to Solve the Problem
With more sickness and the increased need for blood coupled with fewer volunteers, the only way to increase the nation’s blood supply is for more volunteers to step up and donate. The organization points out it can take up to three days to test and process blood donations to make them ready for patients to receive. With an average of over 45,000 units needed for people every single day in the United States, every drop of each donation counts. With that in mind, generous donors are literally saving lives with every visit.
To donate, contact the AABB, the Red Cross, or call America’s Blood Centers for the nearest donation location. Next time the big Red bus shows up in your neighborhood or work area, consider stopping and donating to help save a life.
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