American Red Cross alerts of severe nationwide blood shortage

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(WWTI) — The American Red Cross is urging donors nationwide to give blood.

This is to address a severe blood shortage, which according to the Red Cross, is due to a rise in the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries requiring blood products.

“The Red Cross is currently experiencing a severe blood shortage,” said Red Cross Biomedical Services President Chris Hrouda. “Our teams are working around the clock to meet the extraordinary blood needs of hospitals and patients – distributing about 75,000 more blood products than expected over the past three months to meet demand – but we can’t do it without donors. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.”

The organization stated that the rise in trauma cases and emergency room visits is atypical, seeing a red cell demand from hospitals with trauma centers climb by 10% in 2021 compared to 2019.

Additionally, the Red Cross reported a great hospital demand for blood as patients who previously deferred care during the COVID-19 pandemic present with more advanced disease progression, therefore requiring increased blood transfusions.

To address these needs, the Red Cross stated that there is an “emergency need” for type O donors. Type O positive is the most transfused blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type. Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.

Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states, 16 with parental consent where allowed by state law, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

The Red Cross is offering an incentive that will allow those who come to donate with the Red Cross June 14 to 30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card by email,

Visit the American Red Cross website to find blood drives near you.

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