NEBRASKA – The American Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage that is negatively affecting blood product availability across the country. They are urging donors of all blood types, especially type O and those giving platelets, to make an appointment to give blood and help ensure hospital shelves are stocked with blood products for the Summer.
Josh Murray, the Regional Communications Director for the American Red Cross in the Nebraska and Iowa Region, says that hospital demand has gone up in the last few months.
A lot of the hospitals are making up for procedures that they couldn’t do during the pandemic. Some of the elective surgeries, some different transplants. In addition, they’ve seen more trauma cases and other things like that that require more blood that they need. They’re asking us for more blood. In fact, in the last three months, across the country, we’ve provided more than 75,000 more blood units than we usually deliver this time of year. Definitely the demand is up and we want to make sure we are able to meet that demand. So that’s kind of why we put out this urgent message, this severe blood shortage message that we currently have in place.
While summer is traditionally a time when blood donations decline, this year is particularly challenging as many Americans receive their vaccinations and resume summer activities after more than a year of limited interactions and travel, leading to lower donor turnout.
Donors can schedule an appointment to give blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appointment.