Urgent: American Red Cross Facing National Blood Shortage – How You Can Help
The American Red Cross is currently grappling with a significant national blood shortage, and they are reaching out to the public for immediate assistance. This shortage is affecting donors of all blood types, but the need for type O blood donors is particularly pressing.
The challenge began during the late summer when the Red Cross's national blood supply declined by approximately 25%. This drop occurred in the wake of one of the busiest travel seasons and the start of back-to-school activities. However, as people have settled back into their fall routines, a unique challenge to the blood supply remains.
Blood Drives are Down
Many employees continue to work from home or in a hybrid capacity, which has reduced the number of opportunities to give blood at business-sponsored blood drives. To put it in perspective, before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 800,000 blood donations were made at blood drives hosted by businesses. In the previous year, the Red Cross witnessed only about 500,000 blood donations at these locations, marking a nearly 40% decrease from pre-pandemic levels.
This situation, coupled with an active disaster season, has created a challenging scenario, jeopardizing the organization's ability to collect a sufficient amount of blood products to meet the needs of hospitals across the country.
How You Can Help
The American Red Cross provides community blood drives and donation centers across the Indiana Region. If you have previously donated at a local business blood drive, it is strongly encouraged that you book a time to give at one of these locations. You can conveniently schedule your donation by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Know Before You Go
When you go to donate, make sure to bring a blood donor card, driver's license, or two other forms of identification with you for check-in. To be eligible for donation, individuals must be 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in generally good health. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Make a Difference
Your blood donation can make a vital difference, especially during this critical time when the American Red Cross is facing a significant blood shortage. By giving blood, you can help save lives and ensure that hospitals have the necessary blood products to care for patients. The need is urgent, and your contribution can truly make an impact. Join in the effort to replenish the national blood supply and support your community's health and well-being.
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Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF