The American Red Cross is calling on healthy donors across the United States to give blood, as the country's supply is "dangerously low."
In a joint statement, the Red Cross, the Association for the Advancement of Blood & Biotherapies, and America's Blood Centers said the U.S. blood supply "remains at one of its lowest levels in recent years," and many blood centers have "reported less than a one day supply of blood of certain critical blood types — a dangerously low level." In the U.S., more than 45,000 units of blood are needed daily.
It takes up to three days to get donated blood tested and ready to go on the shelves, and the organizations warn that "blood donations are needed now to avert the need to postpone potential lifesaving treatments. Some hospitals have already been forced to alter treatments for some patients or cancel some patient surgeries due to blood supply challenges."
There's a multitude of reasons why the blood supply is so low — the increase in COVID-19 infections and winter storms are not only keeping people from donating, but also causing staffing shortages that are forcing blood drive cancellations. To learn more about donating blood, visit the American Red Cross website.