Red Cross asking for new donors as blood supply hits ten year low

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 9:42 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The American Red Cross is experiencing a blood supply shortage across the state and the country. Blood donations have been down significantly in 2021, leading to the blood supply being at a 10-year low.

In Virginia, the number of first-time blood donors is down 41% this year. High demand for blood is also contributing to the shortage.

“Demand has been incredibly high from our hospital partners as they try to play catch-up with some of those elective surgeries that were postponed due to COVID, we’ve also seen that people are coming into emergency rooms sicker than they were previously because of health care that was postponed due to the pandemic,” said Jonathan McNamara, Regional Communications Director for the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross said it has been working daily with its hospital partners to understand their needs. They are also diversifying blood drive locations in an effort to attract new donors.

‘We’re still seeing many of the businesses that we rely on to host blood drives across the state be in some hybrid situations where they’re not having employees on campus like they used to, the same applies to some of the schools that we’re working with,” said McNamara.

The organization is hoping to attract new donors of all different blood types.

“To put that kind of in context we like to have typically about a five day supply of those key blood types on any given day now we’re getting less than a day’s supply on our shelves, when we’re in a situation like this all blood types are needed,” said McNamara.

The Red Cross asks anyone who is interested in donating blood to contact them since it’s needed now more than ever.

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