Red Cross faces severe blood shortage as hospital demand increases

The American Red Cross is facing a serious blood shortage as the number of cases of trauma, organ transplants and elective surgeries increases, depleting the country’s blood supply.

Donors of all blood groups, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to donate as soon as possible to avoid further impact on patients, according to a press release from the organization.

Locally, the next Red Cross blood drive will be July 6 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Cornerstone Community Church, 1088 Sarasota Drive, Seymour.

Make an appointment to donate blood using the Red Cross blood donation app, visiting, calling 800-733-2767, or activating the blood donation skill on any which Alexa Echo device.

Today, hospitals are responding to an unusually high number of trauma and emergency room visits, overdoses, and resulting transplants.

Compared to 2019, the Red Cross saw demand for trauma centers increase by 10% in 2021, more than five times the growth of other establishments that provide blood transfusions.

In addition to trauma needs, there is a high demand for blood in hospitals as people who postponed care during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic have more advanced disease progression, requiring increased transfusions. blood.

Over the past three months, the Red Cross has distributed around 75,000 more blood products than planned to meet these needs.

Due to this shortage, some hospitals are forced to slow down the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes. Blood is perishable and cannot be stored, so it must be constantly replenished by blood donors.

As a thank you, those who donate blood through June 30 will receive a $ 5 gift card by email, courtesy of Amazon. Information is available at

In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate; however, it is important to know the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine received to determine eligibility for donation.

While more than a third of Americans are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the Red Cross is ending COVID-19 antibody testing for donated blood, platelets and plasma.

Until Friday, the Red Cross is testing all donations for COVID-19 antibodies. Tests can show possible exposure to the virus or whether a donor has developed an immune response to the vaccination. The conclusion of the antibody tests represents a new phase of hope as the nation continues to emerge from the pandemic.

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