For the first time ever, Red Cross declares nationwide blood shortage in US

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jan 13, 2022, 05:34 PM(IST)

Red Cross declares nationwide blood shortage in US  Photograph:( Twitter )

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The ongoing pandemic has led to a decline in donor turnout and has also led to the cancellation of blood drives faced with staffing issues

For the first time ever the American Red Cross is going through a blood shortage crisis causing risks for patient care. The organisation has said that blood and platelet donations are critically needed to prevent further delays in medical treatments. 

The ongoing pandemic has led to a decline in donor turnout and has also led to the cancellation of blood drives faced with staffing issues. 

Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer of the Red Cross said, "While some types of medical care can wait, others can’t."

Elaborating on the current situation he told how the hospitals are currently seeing accident victims and cancer patients who need blood immediately. "We’re doing everything we can to increase blood donations to ensure every patient can receive medical treatments without delay, but we cannot do it without more donors. We need the help of the American people," he said. 

The organisation has asked the country to help in every possible way. 

Amid the ongoing pandemic, the Red Cross has experienced a decline of 10 per cent in the number of donors. There has also been a dip of 62 per cent in blood donation campaigns at schools and universities. 

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Due to this the Red Cross has also limited blood distributions to hospitals. There have also been instances where a few hospitals may have not received as much as one-quarter of the blood products which are requested. 

Kristen Mill of Spring Grove, Illinois suffers from certain health problems caused by a tick bite in 2008. Ever since then, she has needed weekly transfusions to treat this condition. On her recent visit, she was told that the hospital had no blood to match her blood type. “The hospital came to me and they apologised, and they said, ‘We’re so sorry, our blood bank is depleted to the point where we don’t have anyone that matches with you,” said Kristen. 

She further added, “It’s very scary, especially if you don’t know if the blood is coming because this is something that you need to live.”

Apart from blood donors, the Red Cross is also looking for volunteers to support critical blood collections. The volunteers have been in shortage too since the Delta variant hit the US. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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