U.S. blood supply ‘lowest in years’ – Action News Now

The American Red Cross has warned that blood banks across the U.S. are being hit by staffing shortages and declining donor turnout due to a surge in Covid-19 cases and severe weather.

“The country’s blood supply remains at one of the lowest levels in recent years,” The American Red Cross, American Blood Centers and the Society for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapeutics said in a joint statement Monday.

“In recent weeks, blood centers across the country have reported less than a day’s worth of blood supplies for certain key blood types — a dangerously low level. If the nation’s blood supply does not stabilize quickly, some patients may not be able to Get life-saving blood when you need it.”

The continued surge in Covid-19 cases and severe weather are the main reasons behind the drop in donor turnout, the statement said. It said blood centres faced staffing challenges and were forced to cancel blood drives.

The Red Cross has been warning of an emergency blood and platelet shortage for months. Chris Hrouda, president of the Red Cross Biomedical Services, said in September that the supply of O-positive and O-negative blood, which hospitals need most, sometimes drops to less than half a day’s supply.

“This is the biggest challenge I’ve faced in my 30 years in the business,” Hrouda told The New York Times last month.

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