Red Cross Seeks Help Due To National Blood Donation Shortages

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ELMIRA, NY (WENY) – The American Red Cross has declared its first-ever blood donation shortage. The omicron surge and winter season has led to fewer people showing up to donate. 

Red Cross Regional Communications Manager Meg Rossman talked about why there is a nationwide blood crisis during an interview last week.

“You have Covid, you have winter weather, you have staffing and supply chain challenges…so it’s all coming together to create this perfect storm,” she said.

This is the first time the nation has experienced a blood donation crisis. During this unprecedented time, Rossman wants the American people to get involved, roll up their sleeves, and help people in need.

“We’re really calling on the American public now more than ever to come out and make those appointments in the days and the weeks to come to help make sure patients in need are receiving that life-saving blood,” she said.

She stressed how important blood donations are. When the number of donations fall short, stressed doctors are working against the clock to help their patients.

The demand for blood is outpacing the supply.

“We always strive to keep a five-day supply of all types of blood on hand at all times but unfortunately because of the shortage with some types of blood, we’re actually…in the last few weeks…working with less than a day’s supply,” she said.

Across the Twin Tiers, blood drives will be taking place in the days and weeks to come, providing many opportunities to get involved and help people in need.

“You can call 1-800-Red-Cross or you can actually download the free Red Cross donor app and it’ll also show you upcoming appointments,” she said.

Rossman asks locals to keep their appointments locked in until they are absolutely sure they cannot make it. The need for blood is constant.

“Someone is in need of life-saving blood every two seconds and the only resource are our volunteer donors,” she said. “You’re really helping us to build back that supply and maintain it for those patients in need. “

There’s an upcoming blood drive Feb. 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm at the Arnot Mall in Big Flats, New York.

To learn more about blood donations in your area, click the link.


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