Unprecedented National Blood Shortage in US Causes Crisis for Red Cross, Hospitals

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Blood donation - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.01.2022
The Red Cross has declared its first national blood crisis in the US, forcing doctors to choose which patients will receive blood transfusions, and which patients will go without.
A blood shortage is causing hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including those in need of organ transplants and cancer treatment.
As the Covid-19 pandemic rages, the Red Cross reported a 10% overall decline in the number of people donating blood since March 2020, and a 62% drop in blood drives at schools and colleges. The shortage is made worse by issues such as staff shortages and blood drive cancellations.
The medical director for the Red Cross, Baia Lasky, said the combination of winter weather and Covid-19 cases are worsening an already dire situation.
“Please, if you are eligible, make an appointment to give blood or platelets in the days and weeks ahead to ensure no patient is forced to wait for critical care,” she urged.
If you’ve received a Covid-19 vaccine and wish to donate blood, in most cases there is no deferral time. For those who received a live attenuated Covid-19 vaccine, or do not know what vaccine they received, the wait time to donate blood is two weeks.
The Red Cross is urging the public to schedule a time to donate blood, and has partnered with the Super Bowl to increase awareness about the urgent need for donations. Those who donate blood during January will automatically be entered to win 2 tickets to the upcoming Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, including round-trip air fare from anywhere in the US, hotel accommodations for two, a home theater system, and a $500 gift card.
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