Blood supply shortage: more donors are needed amid “severe shortage” of blood supply

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) – Blood centers are asking the public for help in dealing with a blood supply shortage.

“As a general rule of thumb, the American Red Cross is likely to have around 75,000 donated blood on the shelves to run this inventory every day when a hospital calls us across the country. We have found that this inventory is approximately two-thirds of his normal daily limit, “said Barry Porter, regional CEO of the American Red Cross.

While donations typically decline in the summer, Porter noted unique challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Because of the delayed hospital treatments, we hear from hospitals that more and more patients are coming in. And of those delayed surgeries and activities are now arriving for their treatments and requiring blood,” Porter said.

The national organization says demand for red blood cells is up 10% from 2019 and that type O blood and platelets are also a priority, although Porter pointed out that due to widespread demand, all donations are needed.

“Every two seconds in America, someone gets a blood transfusion,” Porter said.

Learning of the situation, Calvin Nelson decided to donate blood for the first time.

“It was awesome. I mean, I was a little nervous because I had never donated blood before, and that’s why I had never donated blood before, but it was super easy.” said Nelson, who is also an intern with the American Red Cross.

Porter said dates are welcome, although scheduling dates is preferable. He added that they were looking to add both paid staff and volunteers.

American Red Cross donors receive a $ 10 Amazon gift card and can earn free gas for one year.

Duke Health told ABC 11 their blood supplies have improved thanks to a strong community response, while UNC Health is closely monitoring levels without having to delay or cancel any procedures. The Blood Connection holds “Mobile Mondays” outside the entrance to the Patient Tower at UNC Rex Hospital, offering $ 20 gift cards and t-shirts to each donor.

WakeMed added that they have maintained the blood supply while adding that there is a need for donations. A spokesperson for WakeMed shared the following statement on behalf of Dr. Ryan Johnson, Medical Director of Infusion Services:

While we do our best every day at WakeMed to use blood (The Blood Connection) provides us as efficiently as possible to provide exceptional and compassionate care to our community, blood is a finite resource, and we depend on the community. to help us . A single donation can help save the lives of up to three people in the community, whether they have an acute or chronic illness, require life-saving surgery or are involved in an accident and require rapid resuscitation.

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