10,000 Additional Blood Products Needed Each Week to Help Recover from Shortage

Posted on September 27, 2023

American Red Cross – Cascades Region – 09/26/23 11:14 AM

$15 Amazon.com Gift Card by email for coming to give blood Oct. 1-20 

Portland, OR (Sept. 26, 2023) — The American Red Cross continues to experience a national blood and platelet shortage and asks the public to book a time to give as soon as possible. Donors of all blood types are urgently needed, especially type O blood donors and those giving platelets. The Red Cross offers three ways to make a donation appointment that can help save lives:

The Red Cross experienced a significant blood and platelet donation shortfall in August, contributing to the current blood and platelet shortage. To ensure the blood supply recovers, the Red Cross must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week over the next month to meet hospital and patient needs. 

“When blood and platelet supplies drop to critical levels, it makes hospitals and the patients they are treating vulnerable – especially if there is a major accident or emergency medical procedure that requires large quantities of blood during a disaster,” said Dr. Baia Lasky, medical director for the Red Cross. “A single car accident victim can use as much as 100 units of blood. By making and keeping donation appointments, donors can help keep hospital shelves stocked with blood products and ensure patients have access to the timely care they deserve.”

As a thank-you, those who come to give Oct. 1-20, 2023, will receive a $15 Amazon.com Gift Card by email. Details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.

Unique challenges to blood supply

In late summer, the Red Cross national blood supply dropped by about 25% on the heels of one of the busiest travel seasons and the beginning of back-to-school activities. As people settle back into fall school and work routines, a unique challenge to the blood supply remains – many employees continue to work from home or in a hybrid capacity, reducing the number of opportunities to give blood at business-sponsored blood drives. In fact, before the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 800,000 blood donations were made at blood drives hosted by businesses. Last year, the Red Cross saw only about 500,000 blood donations at these locations – a nearly 40% drop from pre-pandemic levels.

This, coupled with an active disaster season, is creating a perfect “storm” and challenging the organization’s ability to collect a sufficient amount of blood products to meet the needs of hospitals across the country.

The Red Cross provides community blood drives and donation centers across Oregon and SW Washington. Those who may have previously given at a local business blood drive are encouraged to book a time to give at one of these locations by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

To find a donation site near you, visit www.redcrossblood.org and put in your zip code.

How to donate blood 

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood and is the primary blood supplier to 65 hospitals throughout Washington and Oregon; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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