Severe blood shortage across the nation; American Red Cross urgently needing donations

Health Watch

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Blood supplies are at a historic low as trauma cases and other injuries requiring blood transfusions are on the rise. Now, officials with the American Red Cross are saying that although they always encourage donations, now is more important than ever.

“Coming out of a pandemic it has been exacerbated by a steep increase in the demand for blood,” said James D. Jarvis, the Executive Director for the Cape Fear Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Blood supply levels are now at a severely low point, which hasn’t happened since March of 2020.

“What we are seeing is a dramatic increase in the number of trauma cases and hospitals resuming elective surgeries as well as organ transplants, etc. As a result of all that, our demand has significantly increased,” said Jarvis.

Jarvis says nationally, the non-profit has distributed tens of thousands of pints of blood that they weren’t planning on.

“In the last few weeks, we have distributed more than 75,000 pints more than what we were anticipating and so it really has put a major dent in our national and regional supply.”

The non-profit works to make sure that they keep at least a five-day supply of blood on its shelves. Noting that now, that supply is depleting day by day.

“Right now, we’re down to as short as a half-day supply of blood type O which is the most transfused blood type.”

Saying that it comes down to those in each and every community to make a difference.

“At the end of the day it depends on each and every one of us being willing to roll up a sleeve,” said Jarvis.

The American Red Cross has multiple ways to schedule appointments for donations. They even have an app called the “Red Cross Blood Donor App” where you can track your donation from when you give to when it actually reaches a patient.

You can also call 1 (800) RED-CROSS to schedule your blood donation today.

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