Red Cross Declares First-Ever Blood Crisis

Red Cross Declares First-Ever Blood Crisis

( – The American Red Cross is a major supplier of blood in the United States, and much of its stock comes through donations. While the organization can usually stay on top of the need, the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has led to the Red Cross making a crisis declaration.

On January 11, the organization announced a national blood crisis. The Red Cross says it’s at critically low levels of much-needed blood for the first time in a decade, and amid National Blood Donor Month, it urges people to help.

According to the press release, the issue stems from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, donations have decreased by about 10%. Canceled blood drives and limited staffing in addition to fewer donations have led the Red Cross to limit its distributions. It explained that sometimes hospitals only receive a quarter of what they request.

When there isn’t enough blood, medical providers have to pick and choose who gets the supply. As a result, people who need regular transfusions to stay alive may have to go longer between treatments. Emergency patients may face delays as well.

The organization said fixing the problem is up to donors. The greatest need is for types O positive and O negative, which are universally compatible with other positive and negative blood types, but any donation will help. The Red Cross urges people to make an appointment with their local office to donate as soon as possible.

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