Red Cross Repeats Call for Blood Donors as Shortage Continues

By   |  January 25, 2024

By Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter  |  Copyright © 2024 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 24, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Reiterating a plea it made earlier this month, the American Red Cross is urging people to roll up their sleeves and give blood.

A series of severe winter storms this month have exacerbated an already bad situation, as a shortage of lifesaving donated blood continues, the agency said.

The storms "hampered our ability to boost critically low blood supply levels," said Red Cross spokesman Daniel Parra.

"Since the beginning of the year, blood drives have been cancelled in nearly every state where the Red Cross collects blood, causing thousands of units of blood and platelets to go uncollected," he added.

Parra explained that to bring blood supplies back up to normal levels, the agency needs to collect an extra 8,000 donations each week over the next few weeks.

It's easy to find out when and where you can donate blood, by heading to RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Already, the United States has the lowest number of people giving blood observed over the past 20 years, according to the Red Cross. When supplies are stretched thin, events such as storms can "have a huge effect on the availability of blood products," Parra noted.

"Donors in areas unaffected by severe weather are vital to ensuring those in need of transfusions have access to lifesaving care across the Red Cross network," he said.

As an added incentive, people who choose to donate during the month of January will be entered to win a trip for two to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. There's more on that at RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl.

More information

Here's more from the Red Cross on blood donation.

SOURCE: American Red Cross, news release, Jan. 24, 2024

What This Means for You:

You can help ease an ongoing blood shortage by reaching out to RedCrossBlood.org and booking your own blood donor appointment