Blood Shortage Prompts Urgent Need for Blood Donors
Due to an increase in trauma cases, elective surgeries and other factors, the American Red Cross is currently experiencing a severe blood shortage. They are encouraging the community to schedule appointments to donate blood as soon as possible to help build supply.
"Really right now in Columbus, we've seen trauma cases go way up, particularly gun shot injuries," said Shay O'Mara, MD, OhioHealth VP of Surgery, in an interview with 10TV. "That uses a lot of blood. So our use is up and our supply is down."
According to the Red Cross, in comparison to 2019, they have seen demand from trauma centers climb by 10 percent in 2021, which is more than five times the growth of other facilities that provide blood transfusions.
“When seconds count in emergency trauma situations, it’s the blood already on the shelves that can make the difference in lifesaving care,” said Wendy Yarbrough, Regional Donor Services Executive of Red Cross Central & Southern Ohio Region in a news release from the Red Cross. “As many people begin to enjoy travel and time with loved ones again this summer, patients are relying on the generosity of donors to help ensure they have access to the treatment they need. Please consider blood donation as a summer activity that can help save lives.”
There have been fewer blood drives over the past year due to the pandemic - schools and churches are usually frequent sites for drives.
"School's out. Churches are just getting back up and running. So that has not been a great (source of) supply recently," Dr. O'Mara told NBC4. "The combination together (of lack of drives and increase in trauma cases) has made it so we are in one of the worst short supplies we have ever seen.
You can schedule an appointment to give blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
ABC6 also covered this blood shortage locally. To see the story, click on their logo below.