Red Cross declares first-ever national blood crisis

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The country’s blood supply is dangerously low, prompting the Red Cross to announce a national blood crisis for the first time.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to declining donor participation, cancellation of blood drives and staffing issues, resulting in the worst blood shortage in more than a decade, the Red Cross said . Last year, the Red Cross recorded a 34% drop in the number of new donors.

“If the country’s blood supply does not stabilize quickly, vital blood may not be available for some patients when needed,” he warned in a joint statement with America’s Blood Centers and the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies.

Blood centers across the United States have reported less than a day’s supply of certain types of blood, the statement added.

Hospitals need blood for surgeries, transplants, cancer and chronic disease treatments, but the Red Cross says during this historic shortage there are days when it can’t give hospitals all of the money. blood products they request. The shortage means doctors are being forced to make tough decisions about who should get blood and who should wait until there is more supply.

No 11-year-old should have to worry about the country’s blood supply. But Dreylan Holmes does – he has sickle cell anemia and needs blood transfusions.

“Sometimes I can’t do things when I’m in pain, like sometimes I can’t get out of bed,” Holmes said of how the disease is affecting him.

He experienced it just before Thanksgiving. Holmes was severely anemic and needed a transfusion, but was forced to wait two days due to the limited blood supply at the hospital.

“It didn’t do me good to wait when I was in pain,” he said.

Her mother, Vesha Jamison, said the wait was “very scary.”

“It was actually the first time that we didn’t know when the blood was coming,” Jamison said.

Dr Jennifer Andrews, medical director of the blood bank at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the hospital’s blood supply was dire. A weaker blood supply means the hospital can’t treat patients the same way, Andrews said.

“No one wakes up in the morning and plans to be the next trauma patient. So it could literally affect you or your family and loved ones,” she said.

Holmes encouraged those who are considering donating blood to do so.

“You should help other people like me, so that we can feel better,” he said.


For resources on how to donate blood visit: www.cbsnews.com/blood. If you donate blood, tag “CBS Evening News” in your social media posts using #GiveWithMe.

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