"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

The Red Cross says we face a blood shortage emergency

January 9, 2024 – The American Red Cross says the country is experiencing an acute blood shortage and is urging people to donate now to enhance supplies.

“One of the most stressful situations for a doctor is to have a hospital full of patients and an empty refrigerator with no blood products,” said Dr. Pampee Young and chief medical officer of the Red Cross, the country's largest blood supplier. “In our country, a person needs life-saving blood every two seconds – and its availability can mean the difference between life and death. However, blood is only available thanks to the generosity of those who roll up a sleeve to donate.”

According to the Red Cross, fewer persons are donating than within the last 20 years. The variety of donors has declined by 40% over the past 20 years and blood and platelet donations are actually needed, the organization said in an announcement Press release.

“Additional challenges lie ahead as winter weather and seasonal respiratory illnesses such as the flu and COVID-19 could impact future donor turnout and exacerbate the dire blood supply situation the country is currently facing,” the discharge said.

CNN reported that there didn’t look like enough blood to satisfy demand. Data from the national organization America's Blood Centers suggests that a minimum of 17 community blood centers have a day's supply or less.

According to the Red Cross, almost 7,000 units of donations were missing between Christmas and New Year. One unit is roughly equal to a pint, the quantity raised in a typical donation. Experts estimate that a single automobile accident victim may require as much as 100 units of blood.

The Red Cross and the National Football League are working together this January during National Blood Donor Month. Anyone who donates blood, platelets or plasma this month can win a visit for 2 to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. Go to RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more informations.

You could make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by utilizing the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).